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ESL teacher at EHHS is a Grow Our Own success story

A success story for the Henderson County Education Foundation’s Grow our Own scholarship program, Johanna Bosch-Diaz teaches English as a Second Language at East Henderson High School. [CONTRIBUTED]

A scholarship program funded by the Henderson County Education Foundation and designed to retain current staff or motivate students to graduate and join Henderson County public schools as employees has yielded promising results.

Johanna Bosch-Diaz was awarded a Grow our Own scholarship in May 2022 while serving as an instructional assistant at Hillandale Elementary School and concurrently attending online classes at Grand Canyon University.

“When the email went out about the program, I was enrolled as a full-time student at GCU but my scholarship was not enough to cover my tuition in full,” she said. “I was working full-time as an instructional assistant at Hillandale as well as part-time as an Uber driver to cover living expenses.”

Following her graduation, Bosch-Diaz was hired in January of this year as a English as a Second Language teacher at East Henderson High School, becoming the first Grow our Own scholarship winner to finish college and begin working fulltime as a certified teacher in the district.

While open to anyone, the Grow our Own scholarship aims to recruit Black, Indigenous, People of Color students (current and former) interested in a career in education. The program also recruits current school staff like Bosch-Diaz who are interested in a career in education, school counseling or social work to train, develop and remain in Henderson County and serve in the education workforce.

Currently, six recipients of the Grow Our Own scholarship program are actively pursuing their educational goals.

“Having two jobs while being a full-time student was challenging, but thanks to this program, I was able to quit my part-time job and focus on completing my degree,” Bosch-Diaz said.

Management of the scholarship operates in partnership with a community coalition made up of the Henderson County NAACP, True Ridge, local churches, HCEF board members, Blue Ridge Community College, public school educators, private citizens and individual and corporate donors. To learn more about the Grow our Own Scholarship or to make a financial contribution, visit