Two Benedictine students receive Mesa Educate U Scholarships

June 7, 2013

ReyeswebMesa, Arizona ~ Two Westwood High School students who plan to attend Benedictine University at Mesa this fall were recently awarded Mesa Educate U scholarships.

Francisco Reyes, a first-generation college student, received a $10,000 annual scholarship to attend Benedictine. He also received $1,000 from the American Legion Auxiliary Scholarship and Nina Johnston and Shirley Lesar Westwood Warrior Achievement Award and was accepted to the Jo Wilson Leadership Program – a collaboration between the University and high schools in Mesa that allows a select group of 15-20 incoming freshmen to participate in a specialized pilot training program customized and personalized for each student based upon their career interests.

Herreraweb Reyes, a high school standout, plans to major in Management and Organizational Behavior at Benedictine. He was involved in student council, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) – a college readiness program – and the Hispanic Youth Institute.

Lesly Herrera is also a first-generation college student and recipient of a $10,000 annual scholarship to attend Benedictine. She was accepted to the Jo Wilson Leadership Program as well. Additionally, she received a $1,000 Mahnah Club Scholarship.

Herrera, who plans to major in Psychology at Benedictine, has been involved in Westwood’s varsity tennis and badminton teams, Health Education for Kids – an Arizona-wide program where high school students teach children age 6-11 about health education, the National Honor Society, AVID, Relay for Life, the Foreign Club and Achieving a College Education, a Mesa Community College scholarship program designed to improve access to higher education for underrepresented high school students and provide preparation that can help improve their success once enrolled in college.

Mesa Educates U is a City of Mesa initiative founded by Mesa Mayor Scott Smith to bring higher education to downtown Mesa. This program helped lead to the Benedictine University at Mesa branch campus – the first Catholic university campus in Arizona. Requirements for a Mesa Educate U Scholarship include Mesa residency, demonstrating strong academic performance and having a strong financial need.

“I was honored to be invited to Westwood High School’s awards assembly to present both our Educate U scholarships and the leadership recipients,” said Jo Wilson, senior administrator and special assistant to the executive vice president for Benedictine University at Mesa. “We are very fortunate to have these two young people coming to Benedictine. I am so proud of the two students and excited to have them in our first class,” Wilson said.

Benedictine University is one of the fastest-growing colleges in the country and provides students individual attention – academic advising, faculty availability, career counseling – that helps students to defy limitations and enjoy a successful college experience.

The University is still accepting applications for classes beginning in September.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the eighth consecutive year in 2018. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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