Former El Paso math teacher donates small fortune for scholarships

Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 5:33pm

She lived modestly, saved secretly and now gives greatly. The late Dorothy Quinn was an Austin High School math teacher for 25 years and left behind a small fortune so that El Paso teens can realize their dream of going to college.

Dorothy Quinn’s cousin says Quinn felt passionately that if a student wanted to go to college... Finances should not get in the way. Ms. Quinn found a way to help, all by watching her pennies.

Lauren Guerra is a native El Pasoan, a lifelong student. "I've been an 'A' student since I was little. My parents pushed me to work hard and just to excel in school,” Lauren Guerra, Scholarship Recipient explains.

The Chapin High School senior will begin her college career at The Lady of our Lake University in San Antonio. "When I grow up I would like to be a part of the CIA or the FBI."

Thanks to Dorothy Quinn, "I got $6,000,” the high school senior says, “So this scholarship actually helped me a lot. And I'm glad I received it."

The 17-year-old's first year of college is paid. She says her parents wouldn’t be able to pay for her college education. The El Pasoan is just one of nine scholarship recipients, each received $6,000 thanks to Ms. Quinn.

Her family says the lifelong El Pasoan was frugal, sometimes to a fault. A sentiment echoed by the organization now handling Quinn’s money, "She didn't want to take trips, and go on cruises, she wanted to save and invest her money." Debbie Kissinger, Rotary Club of El Paso says.

Quinn's mantra - watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves -- Helped the former Austin High math teacher save $600,000. Money now used for college scholarships, a dream Quinn felt, no child should be denied. "It will pay for the rest of my room and board, fees and some of my books,” Guerra explains.

For the teen, this means more than dollars and cents, "I thought what she did with her money, saving up and giving it to students in need who, who needed the scholarship, I thought that was very inspirational."

A teacher, whose legacy lives on through the education of students she never met.

The Rotary Club Of El Paso handles the scholarship. They will be choosing high school seniors each year and they hope Quinn’s money will go a long way.

For more information:


Deadline: April 15, 2014

Amount: $6000

Eligibility: High school residing in El Paso County, Texas, and attending a high school within the El Paso Independent School District may apply for a Quinn Scholarship. Have been accepted for enrollment by an accredited college or university. Must be enrolled for a minimum for 12hours the first semester. Have had a minimum grade point average of 90 for the fall semester preceding the application. Must currently be in the top 15% of the senior class.


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