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Published February 13 2010

Fargo South grad honored

A Fargo South High School graduate is the only North Dakotan to be selected a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar.

Fargo native Rachelle Cordova is among about 200 students from across the nation to be named a scholar by the national nonprofit organization.

“We believe we find some of the brightest and best students in the country,” said Damian Travier, the group’s director of education and leadership development. “She fit it to a ‘T.’ ”

The New York-based organization selects about 50 students each year as scholars, who receive networking and mentoring opportunities every year during their four years in college.

The young minorities also receive college scholarships.

For Cordova, “it’s more than a paycheck,” she said. “It’s kind of like a family – a support network.”

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities senior has attended networking workshops that she said could help propel her career forward after she graduates this spring.

The English literature major plans to work at the University of Minnesota Press and go on to graduate school.

“I’m interested in staying in academia probably as a professor,” she said.

Through the Jackie Robinson Foundation, she’s received up to $7,500 each year as part of the group’s scholarships.

“Without that, I wouldn’t be going to college,” she said. “They’re sort of investing in your future.”

Besides playing guitar, Cordova volunteers at the Casa de Esperanza in the Twin Cities, a Latina community organization, and also tutors students at the Plymouth Christian Youth Center.

Travier praised her for being well-rounded and a strong leader.

“Academically, she’s stellar,” he said. “In addition, she’s very talented artistically. She’s just an amazing student.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515