In the Heights and Clear Channel NY partnered to create the "Graduate to New Heights" Scholarship. The scholarship is based on the struggles that many families face to afford college, and is inspired by college-student character Nina Rosario's story in In the Heights. In September 2009, nominations were taken for deserving students. A panel judged the anonymous entries, and based its decisions on applicants' sincerity, need and story.
Rebecca Cunarro's story, is summarized by press notes like this: "When Cunarro's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she put her college plans on hold to care for her mother. Cunarro attended a local community college to be near her mother and faced academic struggles while working three jobs and caring for her mother. Cunarro's incredible determination and perseverance landed her a spot on the Dean's List and she transferred to Rutgers University where she just finished her first year. Cunarro has taken full responsibility for her college costs, and the 'Graduate to New Heights Scholarship' will help her pay tuition and expenses so that she may continue her dream of a college education."
The scholarship was presented as a surprise following the curtain call of the 8 PM show on July 29.
Here's a look at the presentation: