Two Irving ISD seniors are among the 2,242 scholars nationwide to receive a 2023 QuestBridge National College Match to some of the nation’s top universities. 

Matched students receive early admission and a full-ride scholarship to one of 50 QuestBridge college partners. The generous financial aid package covers the full cost of attendance, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses.

Learn more about Irving ISD’s QuestBridge Scholars below:


Grace Marquez – Matched with Duke University

Senior Grace Marquez is part of a long legacy of students at MacArthur High School where her grandfather, father and two older sisters also attended. She speaks proudly of her older sister, Serra Marquez, a QuestBridge finalist in 2020 who matched with Notre Dame. Following in her sister’s footsteps – Marquez was recently awarded the 2023 Questbridge scholarship. She has earned a full scholarship to Duke University – one of her top choices. 

As a freshman, she became involved in student council, took an interest in engineering and competed on the SkillsUSA team. As a senior she became Student Council President and now leads her own younger sister, Mary, on the SkillsUSA team.

Ever since she was a child, she’s always known she wanted to become a doctor. 

“I was fascinated when I discovered the connection between engineering and the medical field,” says Grace. 

This year she attended the summer research program at UT Southwestern, where she says she “really fell in love with what biomedical engineering has to offer.” 

After completing her undergraduate degree, she wants to attend medical school, become an OBGYN and continue doing medical research. 

She is thankful for her sisters, who have supported her every step of the way, and she shares that the key to her success is, “you have to know what you want and prepare yourself in advance.”


Marie Friend – Matched with the University of Chicago

Singley Academy senior Marie Friend is headed to the University of Chicago on a full-ride scholarship next fall, thanks to QuestBridge.

As a student in the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) specialty at Singley Academy, Friend has acquired the skills of an emergency first responder including how to prevent emergencies, respond appropriately during crises in accordance with rules and regulations, and investigate and determine the source of the emergency.

While she hopes to continue her EMT studies in college and become certified, she ultimately plans on majoring in neuroscience and study on the pre-med track to go to medical school and one day become a researcher or clinician working with patients.

In addition to volunteering at the Irving Arts Center and commuting to Irving High School for band, Friend is involved in various extracurricular activities at Singley including student council, National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society and Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). Friend credits her mother for being her biggest source of inspiration, and she hopes to make the most of the opportunities she has afforded her.

“I think the youth is our future, and as someone who grew up in a community with limited access to opportunities, I think it’s very important that we focus on educating children from a young age, understand how their minds work and ultimately prepare them for the future so they can reach their full potential.”