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 might promote positive
outcomes for communities identifying as Latin American or Chicana/o American, or
challenge established narratives about, or otherwise strengthen dialogue about or
around Latina/o/x identity. Each scholarship will range from $500 to $1000.

Directions for Applicants

Interested students should submit, to by March 13, 2023:

— a brief (200-400 word) personal statement of purpose that outlines a plan for a new
creative work with intentions matching the award description.
—a work sample of previous creative work 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; a collection of images or documented artworks; recordings, or other
documentation of creative work.

We recommend that applicants describe, in their statement of purpose, an intention to
participate in the creative community at UC Santa Cruz, either through participation in
writing or arts curricula, or through their involvement in student groups associated with
writing or creative work. 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 work
sample need not specifically meet the criteria for the award, but it should demonstrate
commitment to some creative practice. Undocumented students are highly encouraged
to apply.

The selected scholarship awardees will be asked to work with campus resources to
exhibit, perform, and/or publish their completed work: and the Kresge Provost’s Office
will help them in communications with the Creative Writing Program, Latin American
and Latino Studies Department, Dolores Huerta Research Center for the Americas,
and/or other campus units where appropriate, to determine ways of exhibiting,
performing, and/or publishing their finished work.


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 (Atria, 2012), where 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 (Atria), was released in 2018. Her other works include the novels, Across a Hundred Mountains, (Atria, 2006) and Dancing with Butterflies (Washington Square Press, 2009) which were published to critical acclaim. The Distance Between Us is also available as a young readers edition from Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Division–Aladdin. 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. 

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

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