About Onward Scholars

"Dream Big and always move ONWARD!"


The Onward Scholars Program attracts student leaders from the communities served by St. Pius X- St. Matthias Academy. The program provides families with a solid bridge to a college education by exposing Scholars to opportunities that instill a love of service and empowers them to be confident leaders.

Onward Scholars at St. Pius X- St. Matthias Academy receive not only the support services the school provides, but also work closely with the onsite Onward Scholars Program Director to receive mentoring, financial support, and access to programs that prepare students for the college application process. In addition to a scholarship for 75% of tuition costs to PMA, each Scholar has access to a maximum of a $2,000 stipend over the four years from the Smet Foundation to offset the cost of activities or programs in line with the mission of Onward Scholars.

Our application for the Cohort Class of 2025 is available in the Application Process section, accessible on the right margin of this page. For information about Onward Scholars, please contact:

Ms. Melissa Turcios, Program Director



Ms. Melissa Turcios is proud to return to her alma mater as the Onward Scholars Program Director. Ms. Turcios was awarded the Posse Foundation Scholarship and received her B.A. from Dickinson College. She then pursued her passion for mentoring youth as a Language and Culture Ambassador in Madrid, Spain. A Los Angeles native, Ms. Turcios returned home to receive her Master’s in Education from Pepperdine University. She is excited to introduce students to the myriad of opportunities available to them, and assist students in making informed decisions about their college and career path. Most recently, Ms. Turcios served as an Admission Counselor at Loyola Marymount University.

As a first-generation graduate, she is passionate in guiding students to access higher education to become engaged community leaders, and encourage students to DREAM BIG!