America is more than the name of a Pasco family's adopted home.
When the Sevillas had their first child, they named her after the country that signified all the hope they had for the future.
"My parents named me that because they knew I was going to receive the opportunity that they didn't get," America Sevilla said. "Both of my parents ended up dropping out of school when they were in sixth grade."
She hasn't let them, or her country, down.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Tri-City Herald
The Chiawana senior is graduating Saturday with a 3.8 grade-point-average and thousands of dollars in scholarships.
While her parents wanted a better life for her, America has dedicated much of her life to making life better for her family.
The oldest of four children, she started school unable to speak English.
Along with help from her teacher, America would write stories to help her learn the language, she said — tales she was too embarrassed to keep, she said.
"I think they're really bad," she laughed.
The experience pushed America to help her siblings learn the language.
"That's what we've been trying to do at our house so they won't struggle," she said.
Along with preparing her siblings for school, America also helps support her family financially.
When she was 7, she would go with her parents, Isidro Sebillas and Maria Lourdes Lopez, into the cherry orchards around Pasco and Wenatchee in the summer.
America said she added a job at Country Mercantile in her junior year.
She even chose her major to help her family, as she heads to college at Washington State University in Pullman. She's going to pursue chemistry, with a focus on pharmacy school, to help her young sister, who has alopecia.
But America didn't want a handout. America wanted to pay her way.
Mike Brown, a Chiawana guidance specialist, said her persistence paid dividends.
"She's been to all of our scholarship nights. Everything that she's won, she's won because she's deserved it," he said.
She's won a $22,500 Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, a $5,000 scholarship from the Hispanic Academic Achievers Program, and money from Gesa Credit Union.
America said for her, it's about being a good role model to her younger siblings — and others.
"There are a lot of people who are Hispanic and don't pursue higher education and I want to show them that we all can," she said. "You don't have to be defined by your ethnicity or race," she said.