Archived Student Highlights

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Genesis Pimentel Lugo '23

"Coming from a single-parent household and being the 5th out of 7 children, I’ve always tried to do what I can to provide for myself without asking for help. Although since the pandemic, it has been more difficult to work while also keeping up with my
studies. Due to the current cost of tuition and because my classes require recently published books, financially, it has been a challenging year. I normally borrow my books from the library or the lending library; however, none of the books I needed were available. I was overwhelmed thinking about having access to class materials until a friend reminded me that the Bishop Healy Emergency Student Fund could help me purchase my books. I am greatly appreciative of this fund because it has lifted a significant amount of worries off my shoulders."

Nelson de los Santos





Nelson de los Santos ‘22

"When I think about how the Holy Cross Community takes care of its own, the Bishop Healy Fund comes to mind as a perfect example. I moved across the country, from Arizona to Massachusetts, without realizing how brutal the winters can be on the Hill. As a first-year student with little financial support, the Bishop Healy Fund made sure to assist me in obtaining proper winter clothing, which as we all know can get expensive. It made all the difference for me to know that this community, the donors, the administration, and the alumni, truly has my back. The Bishop Healy Fund, to me, will always be a great reminder of the support system found at Holy Cross – crucial for those from low-income house-hold and first-year college students." 


Jaime Perez '23

My name is Jaime Perez, a proud first-generation college student and the son of Mexican immigrants. As a rising junior from Phoenix, Arizona, I am a double major in Anthropology and Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean studies with a Peace and Conflict Studies Concentration. On campus, I currently serve as a Senator-at-Large in the SGA Senate and am involved in MEPA, LASO and PRIDE. Outside of my extracurriculars, I worked as a Welcome Desk Receptionist at The Jo and did a variety of jobs with dining services.

I first heard of the Bishop Healy Fund when I did Odyssey in August 2019 but I never realized the value of this fund until I found myself in need of financial support. My family had experienced significant hardship throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Covering my travel expenses has always been an issue for my family. Although I was excited to attend HC, I was worried that I would not be able to always cover the costs of traveling, ESPECIALLY in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. My biggest challenge this year was that I was not only traveling back home for summer break, but I also had to return to campus to conduct summer research, which was an additional cost my family had to consider in times where money was tight.

I reached out to the Bishop Healy Fund Committee to receive some form of support to cover these expenses, and I am grateful to have received both a reimbursement of my purchased flight and a ticket to my flight to return to campus (alongside funds that helped cover the cost of travel for my COVID-19 vaccine). I remember crying when I received the help, mainly because of the fact that I felt so lost when trying to find help covering the high costs of being an out of state student. Now that I know what the Bishop Healy Fund can provide, I look forward to using this resource for the remainder of my time at Holy Cross, and will be sure to share this resource with my fellow peers who may be in similar situations as me.

Melanie Beato '24

My name is Melanie Beato and I am a rising sophomore at Holy Cross. I am from the Bronx, NY and I'm pursuing a double major in Anthropology and Spanish. I am planning to minor in Business, Ethics, and Society. Being part of the Holy Cross community inspired me to become a College Transition Mentor this summer. For the last eight weeks, I enjoyed meeting wonderful people and building many strong, life-long relationships at Holy Cross. My only hope for my mentees was to “try it” and do not think twice about it. Holy Cross offers so many new experiences and opportunities that can seem overwhelming or frightening, but I challenged my mentees to lean into the unknown.

If it were not for this fund I would have not been able to attain the necessary books that I needed for two of my classes. Coming from a low-income background, the lack of money has always deemed to be a problem. Since the Fall 2020 semester is remote, I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to attain the books I needed for my classes, since my mom has other expenses. Luckily, the Bishop Healy Emergency Fund was able to assist in this matter. By granting me the money needed for books, I have all the resources I need to succeed in all my classes.


Sienna Ablorh




Sienna Ablorh '21

My name is Sienna Ablorh and I am a junior originally from Worcester. I am double majoring in Psychology and History Major with an Africana Studies Concentration. On campus, I serve as a Peer Educator liaison for COPE and a Co-Chair for CASA. During my time at Holy Cross, I received assistance from the Bishop Healy Emergency & Support Fund twice to help support my academics at Holy Cross. Being a Psychology major, naturally, our main source of knowledge in the classroom comes from textbooks that are too expensive to afford.

Being a double major, I do not have much wiggle room to take classes other than those from psychology and history. In addition, each year, I always anticipate my most expensive books being those from my psychology classes. Learning about and receiving assistance from the Bishop Healy Emergency & Support Fund, makes even the hardest of classes, just a bit easier. It is one thing to not understand the material in a class, but it is even harder when you lack easy access to the information you need to refer to. Coming from a low-income household, during school breaks all I do is work but this never seems enough. Through the generosity of this fund, I did not have to think about the burden any longer. I will be forever appreciative of the founders, donors, and current management of Bishop Healy Emergency &Support Fund!






Olivia Streaman '21

My name is Olivia Streaman and I am in my second year at Holy Cross. I am a Spanish and International Studies double major. I truly would not have been able to have this Holy Cross experience that I am fortunate enough to have today if it were not for the Bishop Healy Emergency & Support Fund. Being a first-generation college student, my family and I were not completely aware of the financial expenses that accompany a Holy Cross education, and with the tuition continuously increasing, the Bishop Healy Fund has made my journey possible. Additional circumstances at home related to various health issues has not made it possible for my parents to help finance my education.  For the past three semesters I have received aid in buying my textbooks. Each semester, I am uncertain if I will be able to continue my studies at Holy Cross due to financial reasons, but the fund has come through to my aid and relieved some of the financial burden.

I work as a Captain in Dining Services, as a Crusader Night Crew Member for the Office of Student Involvement and for the telethon, but it is not enough to cover my college expenses. I am happy and proud to say that I have been accepted to study abroad at the University of León during my junior year. The Bishop Healy Fund is currently assisting me in paying for the Visa fees in order to make my study abroad experience possible. I cannot wait to continue my studies abroad and gain new perspectives on life through a different world view. I want to study to become an International Human Rights Lawyer, an Immigration Lawyer, or an ambassador for the United Nations and being able to study at Holy Cross and abroad will help me pursue my dreams. Thank you to each and every person who makes this possible!




Sandra Orellana '21

My name is Sandra Orellana and I am a second year student at Holy Cross. I am still undecided as to what I want to major in but I am considering Political Science and Latin American and Latino Studies with a pre-law track. I hope to pursue a career as an immigration lawyer. My start at college was a wild ride, but there has been a lot of support from the college. I heard of the Bishop Healy Emergency & Support Fund from my peer mentor. The BHE&SF helped me submit my CSS Profile for Financial Aid. My mom has been a single parent since I was eight, due to my dad being deported for being undocumented. Ever since then she has taken care of my two brothers and me.

As my brother had just graduated from Worcester State and I was about to begin college, money was tight. There wasn’t a lot of flexibility in what my mom could help with. Although it was $25 that the Bishop Healy Fund granted me it helped a lot knowing that it was one less thing to worry about. Knowing that my financial aid is all set for the next school year is wonderful. I was very skeptical in deciding to go to Holy Cross due to the increasing tuition and other financial reasons, but it has been one of the best decisions I have made. Holy Cross is a place where there is a lot of support from faculty and students to each other. Having access to such a wonderful and gracious support of the Bishop Healy Emergency Fund has made me happy that I chose to stay in Worcester for another four years. I am beyond grateful for the support during my first semester, THANK YOU so much!





Tildah Fredua '21

Hello, my name is Tildah Fredua I am a second year student at Holy Cross and a Worcester native. My intended major is psychology, and I hope to become a nurse practitioner in the future. Words cannot not express how fortunate and thankful I am to have received the Bishop Healy Emergency & Support Fund.  As a single parent, my mom has many financial burdens and has struggled to keep up with our expenses. When it came time to purchase books for the academic school year it was extremely hard for her and I to come up with the money.

If it were not for this fund I would have not been able to attain the necessary books and materials for my classes. Coming from a low-income background, the lack of money has always deemed to be a major problem. When the semester first started, I feared that I would not excel in my classes because I could not afford books. Luckily, this fund was able to assist in this matter. By granting me the money needed for books, I had all the resources needed for me to do well in each and every one of my classes. Thank you for your support!






Dorean Asuako ‘21

Hello my name is Dorean Asuako and I am a second year student at Holy Cross. I plan to major in Psychology because of my interest in counseling and adolescent behavior. I am co-chair of House Council in my residence hall and I am a member of various groups on campus including the Black Student Union (BSU), Caribbean African Student Assemblage (CASA), Latin American Student Organization (LASO), the first-generation college student organization HCF1RST, and the entertainment and music team of the Campus Student Activities Board (CAB). I work on-campus in Dining Services and also participated in the CASA and BSU fashion shows. In the future I plan to apply to be an RA and I am interested in being a peer educator through the Counseling Center’s organization, Counseling Outreach peer Educators (COPE).


The Bishop Healy Emergency & Support Fund helped me to attain a book access code that I could not afford but desperately needed to be successful in one of my classes. Receiving such funds lifted a burden from my shoulders that I had been worrying about even before the beginning of the academic year. As a first-generation college student from a single-parent home who is paying my own tuition, I had limited funds already where a book and access code costing $500 was something I could not afford. Learning that there is money put aside for students who need financial assistance is such an important resource to be able to have. I feel more at ease in knowing that resources such as this emergency fund is available to me all four years of being a Holy Cross student. It has also encouraged me to not let costs be such a large obstacle in doing what I need and want to do in college.






Darwin Contreras '21

Hello, my name is Darwin Contreras and I am a sophomore at Holy Cross majoring in International Studies with a minor in Asian Studies and a concentration in Latin American, Latinx and Caribbean Studies.  Over the summer, I worked closely with the Office of Student Involvement as an Orientation Leader. I also volunteered for the National Hispanic Institute, whose main mission is to create and foster young latinx leaders all over the world. I was blessed to be a part of such an elite team of leaders. Starting my second semester at Holy Cross I was worried about how I would be able to afford my books and help out at home. Being a first-generation college student did not make my first year any easier, fortunately though, because of the help from the Bishop Healy Committee, I was able to pay for my books. Last semester was a fulfilling semester for me. I become a Student Government Senator at Large to help create better policies on campus for students. I worked many hours in Kimball Dining and photographed events, including Senior Ball. As a witness for the Mock Trial team, I helped my teams build up their case while also serving as the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) First-Year apprentice. I am thankful for the Bishop Healy Emergency & Support Fund and the alumni donors who gave me the gift of books but also an opportunity to continue to take advantage of the many opportunities available at Holy Cross. With everything going on, I appreciate the support which allowed me to focus on my academics and involvement as a student leader and not worry about how I was going to obtain my books for my courses. Thank you so much!






Rachel Checo ’20

My name is Rachel Checo, and I am a second-year student at the College of the Holy Cross. I am a psychology major and an Italian minor. This semester has so far been my hardest, taking 3 psych courses all on the same day has not been easy, especially with having to spend extra time on psych stats, a requirement for all psych majors. Money has been tight recently in my family. My mom does not earn enough at her job, and the money she does earn is barely sufficient enough for her to pay her bills. My mom also has to pay some of the HC tuition, which can be more than what she actually has, so it has been really hard on us. A student at HC noticed my concern for textbooks since they were really expensive for the classes I was taking, and he told me about the Bishop Healy Fund. I honestly do not know how to express my gratitude to this fund. It has been an extreme help, and it really helped my mom and I save a bit more money. An online code, alone, for my Italian workbook, was 200 dollars, and the Bishop Healy Fund helped me pay for it. I am forever grateful for the Bishop Healy Fund because it has helped me not have to worry about having to ever fail a class because I do not have the sufficient funds to buy the textbooks needed for the course.






Brandon Dodson ‘20

Hello, my name is Brandon Dodson and I am a sophomore Economics major at College of the Holy Cross. Coming from a single parent household with three other siblings, most of my college expenses come out of my own pocket. Therefore, I was startled to see that the cost of my books nearly tripled the cost of what they were during my first year at the college. I checked multiple websites, however, the total cost of my books was not dropping.

Just before the semester started, I came to the conclusion that I would not be able to purchase all of my books and would, therefore, have to do my best by borrowing from friends. However, this possible reality changed when one of my peers told me about the Bishop Healy Committee's emergency fund. By contacting the committee and being awarded money for not only books but further financial aid assistance, a massive amount of stress was lifted off of my shoulders. By getting this financial assistance, I was able to productively study my course readings rather than spending time searching for them, which would have taken time away from my studies. Thus I am forever grateful. Thank you!