An Analysis of The Scholarship Jacket by Martha Salinas

“The Scholarship Jacket” by Martha Salinas is a story about a fourteen-year-old girl who dreams of having the honorary scholarship jacket, but with this dream, she faced a racial discrimination crisis and economic limitations. Her father is a farm laborer that could not support and feed all of her eight siblings. Rosie, Martha’s oldest sister, who was entitled being the valedictorian, motivated her to be successful. Money is an issue in her house hold which made hard work valuable. Being a straight A student since the first grade, she was anticipating to be the valedictorian and earn the scholarship jacket that she had been dreaming of, and this will represent the eight years of hard work and determination. Before she turned six, she was given to her grandparents. Her father could not support her. Being raised by her grandparents, any extracurricular activities that required money was not allowed. Besides, it was something they could not afford. As a result, the scholarship was her only way to continue her education. Mid May, few weeks before graduation, everyone was struck and no one paid attention. Wandering before her PE class, she realized that she had forgotten her PE clothes. She walked back to her class and right before she reached her destination, she overheard her teachers, Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Boone arguing who deserves to earn the recognition with the scholarship jacket. The teachers were arguing about Martha and Joann, next student in line for the scholarship. “Martha is Mexican resign won’t do it.” The harsh words crushed Martha’s dreams and opportunities. The following day, Martha was called in to the principal’s office, and this is the moment of truth. The principal discussed about the changed in the policy. He was informing her about the fifteen dollar charge for the jacket, and he continued, “if you are unable to pay the fifteen dollars it will be given to the next one in line”

She did not know how to recoil, her respect for the board tarnished. She rushed home and told her grandfather the bad news she received. She cleared her throat and the words came out of her mouth with dismay. ”Grandpa, I have a big favor to ask you.” She continued to inform him about the changes, her grandfather quickly questioned her, “What does a scholarship mean?” She explained hoping her grandfather will change his mind, “It means you’ve earned it by having the highest grades for eight years and that’s why they’re giving it you.” Her grandfather finally made his mind and said, “ Tell your principal I will not pay the fifteen dollars.” Martha walked back in the house, furious, upset, no words could describe how she felt, but she knew her grandfather is right. The subsequent day, she told the principal what her grandfather said. The principal said in remorse, “Okay, damn it. We’ll make an exception in your case. I’ll told the board, you’ll get the jacket.” She was shocked, her adrenaline rushed throughout her body and spoke in a trembling rush,” Oh, thank you, sir!” She was above the clouds. She ran home and told her grandfather about the great news. Her grandfather did not say anything, but gave her a smile and a pat on the shoulder.

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