Nordstrom gives back


Darla Sanchez

Warren High School senior, Hilda Atunear, wins a $10,000 scholarship from Nordstrom by completing an application process and an interview to be able to stand out with her writing and personality. “When they first walked in to my classroom and said that I had won I could not believe it,” Atunear said. “I was so happy.”

Irania Quintero, Staff Writer

On Oct. 23, 2014, Warren High School senior, Hilda Atuncar, was announced as the recipient of the Nordstrom Cares $10,000 scholarship. Atuncar was one out of 80 people across the United States to receive the scholarship and to be offered an internship at the Nordstrom nearest to her [Los Cerritos Center]. Over 10,000 people submitted applications between Feb. and May, and all semi-finalists were notified of their status via email. Once all finalists were selected, they went through a video interview process that took place over Skype.

“It was a very difficult process because I’m not quirky or good with technology,” Hilda said. “Finding out that Skype was the only gateway to my outcome was hard, but the people who conducted the interview were extremely helpful.”

Atuncar showed her gratitude for the opportunity she received and for the people who were there to help her throughout the process. It was a long process, but she had a couple of influential teachers to support her and reassure her along the way. Honors English teacher Erin Ogden and French teacher Richere Breault made sure Atuncar had everything she needed to reach success in this friendly competition.

“In terms of knowing Hilda’s obligations because she is involved in a lot at school, I think she is one of those superstar people whose level of enthusiasm and motivation is always consistently high,” Breault says.

Atuncar’s extracurricular involvement and need to continually better herself is what makes her distinct amongst her classmates. Atuncar kept her priorities straight and focusing on the big prize her hard work would get her. Looking back, not only did she realize all the time and effort she put in, but her mentor did as well.

“Hilda is a go-getter and that is why I am not surprised she received this award,” Ogden stated. “She came to me with this idea of applying for the Nordstrom scholarship and I just knew she would get it because she’s such a great student and she deserves it.”

Teachers know Atuncar as someone who doesn’t give up and someone who isn’t afraid to take on a challenge. After eight months of dedication and anticipation, it became evident that one person, out of thousands, came out on top. Although Atuncar is not a fellow Viking, she is still a part of the Downey community and put Downey on the map for her recognition.