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Recipients Appreciation Letters

Madison Barr 2022 scholarship award of $2500.00

In starting, it is hard for me to put into words what this scholarship means to me. This scholarship will help me spend less time working my part-time job and devote that time instead to studying and achieving high grades. This will in turn allow me to successfully transition from high school to college; a transitional period filled with new experiences and challenges.


This experience has also given me the confidence to know that with enough hard work and effort I will succeed no matter the problems that may arise throughout my college journey. 


This coming Fall semester I will be starting my college journey at the University of La Verne as Kinesiology/ Biology Major. After completing my undergraduate education at La Verne I plan to enter a doctorate program to become a Physical Therapist. This money has allowed me to cover the cost of my Fall tuition and has alleviated the financial stresses of coming up with college tuition.


I am extremely excited to be starting my college journey as I know I will do great things when I work hard. In closing, I would again like to thank the Congo Family and Foundation for awarding me this scholarship and providing me the chance to display my success on the college campus. 

Thank you,

Madison Barr


Recipient Appreciation Letters​

Kendra Mae Christain 2022 scholarship award $500.00 

The generosity and kindness of the Congo Foundation is something that I will never forget. I feel so fortunate that upon reading my application essay, the Congo Foundation saw me as deserving of their contribution. This fall, I intend on studying at UCLA to become a teacher. I was unbelievably excited when I first received my acceptance letter, but the cost soon presented itself to be an obstacle. My family and I felt that it was important for me to live on campus during my first year of college. Therefore, I applied for many scholarships with the hope of at least making a dent in the price. 


When I opened my award letter for the Kevin A. Congo Scholarship, I reacted just like I did when I learned of my UCLA acceptance. Jumping up and down with excitement. Being a student at the university of my dreams had started to look a bit bleak when years of student loans loomed over me. I am beyond thankful that the Congo Foundation recognized my determination and provided me with help to achieve the future I want for myself. 




Carlos Martinez 2022 Scholarship award $2500.00

Dear Congo Foundation,


Receiving this large gift from your foundation has meant a lot to me and will go a long way for me in my future. I come from a low-income household and I am a first generation student. Two of older siblings have succumbed to drug addiction because of our situation and I have worked diligently to not make the same mistake. Considering the fact that we are not wealthy by any means, college has always been a worry in terms of paying it off. Having this gift will not only put me at ease but give me an amazing head start to achieve my dream of becoming a psychiatrist. I want to become a psychiatrist because of my siblings’ situations and to help others who cannot help themselves in terms of mental health. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

Again, thank you for this opportunity.


Carlos Martinez


 Gerard Allen Paredes 2022 Scholarship award $500.00  

 I would first like to extend my appreciation to the Congo Family and the volunteer staff that compose this wonderful foundation, for its efforts to grant students like me an opportunity like no other. The foundation has given me hope and much-needed support that will help me propel my ambitions as I embark on my academic journey in Bioengineering. With the rising cost of an education and the additional expenses demanded throughout one's academics, it can easily be lost; that 'it', is the value of an education. 

     As I start off on this new expedition - called attending university - I am emboldened to know such generous and compassionate efforts, such as this foundation, have seen the value of an education and encourage the rising generations to pursue it. This kind of laudable action has helped in making the realization of dreams for students a reality, and has placed an unmistakable resolve in those students to continue to reach those dreams no matter what. 

     As a recipient of one of The Congo Foundation's scholarships, it has given me tremendous aid towards my education, as well as providing validation on its value. 

     Again, thank you so much for choosing me as a deserving recipient!


Gerard Allen D. Paredes


Andrew Smithwick 2022 Scholarship award $500.00

Hi Mr. Congo,


I do wish that we could have attended the annual golf tournament; here's to hoping that next year's students will be able to attend.


With all the scholarships I've received, I'm able to cover a majority of the first year of my tuition at UCSD! This is going to take a huge load off of me and allow me to try my hand at extracurricular activities, like UCSD's excellent undergraduate research program instead of stressing over finding a part-time job to pay the bills. I am very grateful for your faith in me and hope to show some good results in college!



Thank you!

Andrew Smithwick


Elliot Speranta 2022 Scholarship award $500.00

What this scholarship meant to me when I received it:

As a foreign student from Sweden, a big challenge in my life when moving here was coming to terms with the costs of college. The Congo Foundation has now provided me with the extra help that I needed for books and parking in college. This is a contribution to my future, the future generation, and for that I am grateful.


Elliot Speranta


Hibah Ali 2022 Scholarship award $500.00

Dear Congo Family and Congo Foundation, 

The Scholarship Award from the Congo Foundation was the first one I received. I still remember when my dad joyfully brought the envelope to my room for us to open together. The moment was just as important for him as it was to me. As the generosity and consideration of the Congo Foundation was a reassurance to my family in the tumultuous leap of going to a university. The story behind the establishment of the Congo Foundation had many parents and students in tears during Senior Appreciation Night. It is truly a privilege to be supported by such an honorable foundation, and it feels especially meaningful as the organization was founded on the bonds and love of family. Family is my driving force behind attending college, and the funds provided by the Congo Foundation will allow me to support my family with my education. 

Thank you again to the Congo Foundation for all their hard work in paving the way for the next generation by supporting students who are unsure in their financial futures while pursuing their careers.


Hibah Ali


Emerald Su 2023 Scholarship award $1000.00

Dear Congo Foundation,


Before I was awarded this scholarship, my family and I were worried about how we could pay off my college tuition at Cal Poly Pomona, especially because we believe that it is important for me to live in the dorms for the rest of my college years. My dad worked very hard in his career, sometimes coming home at around 2 or 3 in the morning because he has to provide money for my whole family. 


When we found out that I was awarded this special gift, everyone in my family was overjoyed. This scholarship would cover most of my college tuition and help me on my path to my dream job of becoming a hotel manager at a Disney Hotel. I am very thankful to the Congo Foundation for their generosity and the help that they provided to help me focus on my future career. Thank you for this opportunity!



Emerald Su


Gabriel N Fierro 2023 Scholarship award $1500.00

Dear Mr. Congo,


I hope this letter finds you in good health and high spirits. I am writing to express my deepest gratitude for the incredible scholarship opportunity provided by the Congo Foundation. Your generous scholarship of $1500 will make an immense difference in my pursuit of higher education, and I am truly honored to be a recipient of this award.  Your support and belief in my academic journey have motivated me to strive for excellence, and I am excited to embark on this new chapter in my educational pursuit.


Once again, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to you and the entire Congo Foundation for recognizing my potential and investing in my future.  Your generosity will not only ease the financial burden of my education but will also inspire me to work diligently and give back to my community. 


Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your unwavering support and granting me the opportunity to pursue my dreams. I am deeply grateful for your faith in me and the invaluable contribution you have made towards my education.


May each day bring you happiness and fulfillment.




Gabriel Fierro




*Rose Sluiter 2023 Scholarship award $2000.00 


Dear Congo Family and Congo Foundation,


I would like to express my deepest gratitude for selecting me as the

recipient of the Kevin Arthur Congo Memorial Scholarship and

moreover to receive this in the name of your dear friend,

William Hale Jr. is both a great privilege and humbling.                         


On Senior Appreaciation Night, it was apparent to everyone in the auditorium that Mr. Hale was an exceptional individual, as we all felt the genuine emotion from each Congo Foundation representative present so much so, that I instantly felt a stronger sense of purpose and greater determination to succeed.  Learning about William Hale Jr.'s legacy of perseverance, strong work ethic, dedication to community service, and love for travel, I am inspired to honor his memory by working to exemplify and adopt those same values.


I am looking forward to starting this fall semester at the University of California San Diego, pursuing a degree in Bioengineering within the Jacobs School of Engineering.  I am committed to making the most of my college education. This Congo Foundation scholarship means so much to me as it will help alleviate some of the financial stressors, allowing me to concentrate more on my studies, as well as, participate in extracurricular activities.


Thank you again for your invaluable investment in my education. Your generosity is sincerely appreciated.   I look forward to the day when I can give back to the youth in our Monrovia community and lend my support to aspiring students as you have for me.



Rose Sluiter

 * Photographs: Rose Sluiter, William Hale Jr., Rose Sluiter with Mr. & Mrs.

 Hale, William Sr. and Jewel. 




 Katlyn Beller 2023 Scholarship award $1500.00


The Congo Foundation


Thank you for choosing me to receive one of your scholarships.

It is such and honor and it is greatly appreciated and will be put

to good use for my goals at UC Davis.


Katlyn Beller



 Emily Moran 2024 Scholarship award $2500.00


Good morning, Mr. Congo

"To me, this scholarship is a gift to take the burden of tuition off my shoulders, and it is a reward for my hard work I downplayed for so long. I have worked very hard my entire high school career, always aiming to exemplify academic and extracurricular excellence. I never questioned hard work, and I never expected anything for it. So when it came time to apply for MHS scholarships, I initially believed I wouldn't come out with too much. After all, I'd endured struggles such as a health condition which had impacted my performance, and there were others who had achieved even more than I had. Certainly, there wasn't too much aid to be spared for me. 


Yes, that's right. I had a classic case of underestimating myself. (And underestimating the generosity of MHS donors!)


But then came the Congos. By the time I was selected to interview for the scholarship, I had received several rejection letters from scholarship agencies and no winning applications. Needless to say, I didn't have high hopes. But I remained optimistic. I walked into the interview room with a smile on my face, and once I entered, I saw something I didn't expect. Two interviewers! Who were kind, and proud Wildcats like I am! I came to learn these were the parents of Kevin Congo. Mr. and Mrs. Congo asked me hard questions, but in between we got to know each other. I asked about MHS back in the 1960s, and they asked me about my future goals and dreams. I told them my dream was to become US Attorney General. 


Then they told me about their son, and the kind man he was. I knew at that moment that even if I didn't win, I wanted to be like Kevin Congo. I wanted to exemplify the Foundation's values, so aligned with my own. We ended the interview with handshakes, and I went back to class happy, but not expecting too much of myself.


Then came Senior Night, and I was invited. I had won a scholarship! But which one? I sat as Mr. Congo took the stand, on the edge of my seat, only for him to read my name and my family to erupt with joy. I had won a Congo Foundation scholarship! I quickly got up to take my award, and gave him the biggest hug I possibly could. We took our pictures, and I sat down to celebrate once more with my elated mother and father.


So now we come to the present. I'll be heading off to Saint Louis University this fall, majoring in Political Science, with a double minor in American Studies and Economics. I'll also be involved in two leadership programs, the Micah and Dr. MLK programs. And I know that once I get on campus, I will continue to bring honor to the Congo Foundation by my continued hard work. Once I'm in college, I can work my way up, until I do (hopefully) become US Attorney General. This scholarship will give me a step up, a sort of additional stair as I climb my way up to college and career. It will take away my stress, and help me focus on my academics and volunteering.


So, I want to thank you again for this scholarship. It means everything to me to know that you all found me worthy of this award. Everyone at this foundation has been so kind and easy to talk to. You've all been so generous to me, and your philanthropic efforts in the name of your relative, Kevin Congo, should be applauded. This is the best legacy you could give him. People who are just as motivated as he was, following their paths to their very bright futures, with his hand placed on the shoulders.


Thank you and always in gratitude,


Emily Moran


Katlyn Beller.jpeg
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