A freshman at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, Albarracin is one of two recipients of the Tessler Family Specialized Scholarship, a $25,000 award given to students who were part of the Whitney Museum Youth Insights Internship program.
The scholarship will go a long way for the Queens resident, who comes from a single-parent household.
“It was hard for my mom to pay for my college, she has to worry about rent, food and essential things to survive,” she said. “This scholarship has given us the opportunity to not take out any loans.”
A native of Colombia, Albarracin moved to the U.S. four years ago. She graduated from Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School, but said the transition, learning English and applying to colleges were challenging.
“It was hard because I had no one to turn to,” she said.
Her first semester in college has also been tough due to the pandemic.
“I was expecting to have a different experience,” she said. “I don’t have the same opportunities I was hoping to get.”
But Albarracin is determined to graduate college with a degree in political science, and obtain a master’s degree in either sociology or women’s rights. She sees herself working at a nonprofit advocating for women’s rights and, eventually, the U.N.
Albarracin is the first in her family to go to college, and hopes to set an example for her younger family members.
She said she holds a special place in her heart for the Horatio Alger Association for affording her this opportunity.
“It has transformed my life in a positive way,” she said.