History of the Scholarship

Did you know Saint Clement has a sister parish in El Salvador? For more than 30 years, parishioners of all ages have visited 22 de Abril, a parish located on the outskirts of San Salvador. Over the years, this relationship has led to long-lasting friendships and life-changing experiences. 

The Romero Scholarship of Saint Clement is the result of many discussions that took place during the April 2011 visit to 22 de Abril and thereafter. Our parishioners had important conversations with the youth of the community, the teachers of the Centro Escolar Católico Hermanos Godofredo y Antonio de Graz, and the leaders of the Jean Donovan Association and Parish of Immaculate Conception. They all expressed the need for an opportunity for further education and spoke of the potential changes that this could bring to the neighborhood. Saint Clement recognized the need for a scholarship fund for promising young people from the community, who often face discrimination and financial barriers that put college out of reach. After generous contributions at Anchor Ball and other events, the Romero Scholarship was founded in 2014.

The Romero Scholarship program supports five young adults from the Immaculate Conception parish community with the resources to pursue a university education. This includes tuition, books, uniforms, lab fees, laptops, and any other supplies needed for their studies. These students are in extreme economic need, have the desire and academic potential to attend high school or college, and have a strong commitment to service and solidarity. Scholarship recipients are chosen by members of the Immaculate Conception parish leadership. 

The Romero Scholarship was named by the young men and women of Colonia 22 de Abril, who take inspiration in the life and ministry of Saint Oscar Romero, 4th Archbishop of San Salvador, known as the “bishop of the poor.” Romero demanded justice and peace for the Salvadoran people, which could only be found in ensuring people had access to basic needs and in upholding their basic human rights. He became a symbol of hope in a country that has suffered from monumental poverty, injustice and violence.

Scholarship recipients

Currently there are five students who are receiving financial assistance through the Romero Scholarship. They are:

  1. Bryan Francisco Castillo Vasquez*: majoring in Bilingual Business Administration at Technological University of El Salvador, involved in youth ministry (Recently graduated! See below.)
  2. Sayra Gómez Padilla: majoring in Business Administration at Central American University, involved with prayer groups and religious formation - Sayra is currently working on her thesis and is scheduled to graduate this year (Recently graduated! See below.)
  3. Silvia Veronica Rivas: majoring in Psychology at Technological University of El Salvador, sings in the parish choir
  4. Enmanuel Rivas: majoring in Business Administration at Central American University, involved with prayer groups and religious formation 
  5. Kevin Ponce: majoring in Electronic Engineering 

Saint Clement Congratulates First Graduates of the Romero Scholarship!

We are thrilled to announce that our first two scholarship recipients, Bryan Castillo* and Sayra Gomez have graduated from college, both with degrees in Business Administration. Congratulations, Bryan and Sayra! 

Pictured below: Bryan Castillo* (left), and Sayra Gomez (right). 

*We are saddened to share that Bryan Francisco Castillo Vasquez passed away from Covid-19 on May 31, 2021 at age 26.

Congratulations from all of us at Saint Clement Parish!