A Bright Future

Emily Sanchez is presented with a Nordstrom Scholarship.

For Emily Sanchez, high school junior at Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, California, the day started out just like any other. When her school principal called all students, teachers and staff into a courtyard assembly that afternoon, Emily had no idea the real reason they were gathering was because of her. It was all part of a surprise reveal: Emily had been selected to receive a $10,000 Nordstrom Scholarship!

The exciting news was greeted with lots of cheers and applause from Emily's classmates and teachers and some big hugs from her family, who had been hiding in the back of the crowd during the presentation. "I'm starting a new chapter in my life and I'm super excited to explore new opportunities," Emily said. "For people applying for the Nordstrom Scholarship, my advice is to be yourself. If you tell your story the way you know how to tell it, you're going to do great!"

I'm starting a new chapter in my life and I'm super excited to explore new opportunities.
—Emily Sanchez, a 2014 Nordstrom Scholarship Recipient

Becoming a Nordstrom Scholar

Emily was one of 80 outstanding students to receive the scholarship in 2014. To be selected, students participate in a rigorous application process that includes personal essays, letters of recommendation and a video interview with Nordstrom employees. The competition is stiff (we saw more than 10,000 applications in 2014!) but the winners each stood out through a combination of great grades, a commitment to their community and an unwavering focus on earning a college education, as well as the need for financial support.

After the recipients are selected, the real fun
begins—surprising the winners with the exciting news! Many of the scholarship recipients, like Emily, got a special visit from Nordstrom employees, while other recipients receive a personalized video sharing the news. For in-person reveals, we work closely with teachers, guidance counselors and families to pull off the surprise. As you can imagine, after the initial shock wears off, we've got some very happy students (and parents). "I can't thank Nordstrom enough for awarding Emily with the Nordstrom Scholarship," said Graciela Sanchez, Emily's proud mom. "Thank you for reminding us that we shouldn't ever lose hope."

Students and their families aren't the only ones who love being involved in the presentation. The day is pretty special for the Nordstrom employees as well. "Having the chance to be at Emily's school to award the scholarship in person was truly the most rewarding experience in all my years at Nordstrom," said Dottie Young, a Diversity Affairs project manager at Nordstrom. "You can't help but be excited for the future when you see these students, who are passionately engaged in helping their communities. I'm in awe of the scholarship recipients and of Nordstrom for being a part of making higher education possible."

A History of Investing in Education

The Nordstrom Scholarship initially began in 1994 in the San Diego region. The program was a success, and it gradually grew to include other regions across the U.S. In 2011, we increased the number of scholarships from 40 to 80 and made it open to students who live in any state where we have a Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack store.

In 2015, as we expand our business with new stores that have recently opened in Canada and Puerto Rico, we'll add scholarships for students in those areas, too.

The deadline for 2015 Nordstrom Scholarship applications is Friday, May 1, 2015, at 3pm Pacific. To get more information about the Nordstrom Scholarship and eligibility guidelines, and to find the online application, please visit

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