Reyna Grande Scholarship

Reyna Grande

Two Reyna Grande Scholarships will be awarded annually: one to an undergraduate student affiliated with Kresge College and one to an undergraduate student at any of the colleges at UCSC. The scholarship is for creative projects—involving arts, writing, or other creative media work—intended to advance the standing and visibility of Latinx culture and history. Scholarship recipients’ proposed work should aim to promote positive outcomes for communities identifying as Latin American or Chicana/o American, to challenge conventional narratives about Latina/o/x identity, and/or to strengthen conversations about Latina/o/x identity. Undocumented students are highly encouraged to apply.

Each scholarship will range from $500 to $1000. Each selected student will have a consultation with award-winning author and Kresge alum Reyna Grande and receive a signed copy of Grande’s memoir A Dream Called Home.

Directions for Applicants

Interested students should submit the following via this Google form by April 15, 2024:

— a brief personal statement of purpose that outlines how the proposed creative work matches the intention(s) of the award description; how the proposed work will contribute to creative community at UC Santa Cruz or in the local area (for instance, as a final project for a capstone course; as a standalone piece to be performed, screened or exhibited on campus or in Santa Cruz; through involvement in student groups associated with writing or creative work); and which campus resources, student organizations, and/or community partners the student will work with to complete and exhibit/perform the work.

—a work sample of previous creative work or substantive work-in-progress in any medium or genre, demonstrating the applicant’s readiness to produce the proposed work. Examples include but are not limited to: a short story, a brief (5-10 page) collection of poetry or other writing; a short film; original photographs; documentation of other artworks; recordings; or other documentation of creative work. The work sample need not specifically meet the criteria for the award, but it should demonstrate commitment to some creative practice.

Applicants may be at any stage in their degrees, and do not need to be active or declared majors in the arts or literature / creative writing. 

The selected scholarship awardees should work with campus resources (e.g. Creative Writing Program, Film & Digital Media Department, Latin American and Latino Studies Department, Dolores Huerta Research Center for the Americas), student organizations (e.g. TWANAS, Matchbox), and/or relevant local organizations to determine ways of exhibiting, performing, and/or publishing their finished work. Awardees will be asked to submit a short update and documentation of how their project contributed to the creative community at UC Santa Cruz or in the local area.  


Reyna Grande is a first-generation alumnus of Kresge College and UCSC’s Literature / Creative Writing major, and the author of the bestselling memoir, The Distance Between Us, in which she writes about her life before and after she arrived in the United States from Mexico as an undocumented child immigrant. The much-anticipated sequel, A Dream Called Home, was released in 2018. Her other works include the novels Across a Hundred Mountains, Dancing with Butterflies, and A Ballad of Love and Glory, as well as the anthology, Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings, which she co-edited. Her books have been adopted as the common read selection by schools, colleges, and cities across the country.  

Reyna has received an American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the International Latino Book Award. In 2012, she was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Awards, and in 2015 she was honored with a Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. The young reader’s version of The Distance Between Us received a 2017 Honor Book Award for the Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature and a 2016 Eureka! Honor Awards from the California Reading Association, and an International Literacy Association Children’s Book Award 2017. Reyna is a proud member of the Macondo Writer’s Workshop founded by Sandra Cisneros, where she has also served as faculty. 

Reyna’s writing on immigration, family separation, language trauma, the price of the American Dream, and her writing journey has appeared in The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, CNN, The Lily at The Washington Post, and Buzzfeed, among others. 

You can read more about Reyna and her commitment to empowering the next generation of UCSC students here.


To donate to the Reyna Grande Scholarship Fund, please click here.