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As a youngster growing up in California's Salinas Valley, Fabiola Moreno Ruelas dealt with more than her share of hardship. She saw her father deported, and her family routinely struggled with housing and basic needs, at one point facing eviction.

Fortune is fickle however, and Fabiola received $29,000 on her 18th birthday as part of an injury settlement. But when the young student started to thinking of how to spend the money, she realized it shouldn't be on herself. Fabiola set up a scholarship program instead, naming it after her mother: the Ruelas Family Scholarship. Once Fabiola had ironed out the details, applications poured in, and Fabiola awarded her first scholarships to four student...

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