Empowering undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals
NEW AMERICAN SCHOLARS PROGRAM 2012 SCHOLARS Overview
In 2012, we received applications from 130 talented immigrant students, representing 102 high schools, 38 colleges, and 19 countries of origin. We invited 21 extraordinary students to be part of our 2012 New American Scholars Program, awarding them over $55,000 in scholarships. Our 2012 Scholars hail from Brazil, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, and the Philippines. They are attending Diablo Valley College, Napa Valley College, San Jose City College, San Francisco State University, Sonoma State University, California Polytechnic State University — San Luis Obispo, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, and UC Santa Cruz.
Alma "I met Alma in the fall of 2010 when she learned about a diversity training research project I am conducting in my lab. Since then, Alma has been a volunteer research assistant working on an extensive review of the literature in the field of diversity training, providing feedback on our surveys, entering data, and attending professional conferences where we present our findings. She is a very talented artist and has volunteered many hours in the creation of the art for a poster to be distributed campus-wide as a way to increase awareness about the value of diversity and multicultural competence. Alma may not be a Psychology student in my department but based on her participation in my research team, I can attest to her high intellectual capacity and commitment to achieving her undergraduate education as a double major in Art and Political Science." — Elisa Velásquez, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Director of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence
Alma has completed her Political Science major and is finalizing her second major in Fine Arts at Sonoma State University. As a researcher under the leadership of Professor Velasquez of the Psychology Department, Alma analyzes diversity issues at her campus. Before graduating, Alma wants to create a more equitable student environment. After graduation, she plans to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts. With her advanced degree, she wishes to become a university professor to emulate her professors in helping students grow.
This academic school year, E4FC is happy to bring Alma on board as a Student Outreach Team Member. Her goal within the team is to increase awareness and resources to the DREAMer student community of Sonoma County.
Angel "Angel has served as an intern at the Ethnic Studies Resource and Empowerment Center for three semesters and is currently a volunteer conducting a workshop he created entitled “Writing is Power!” providing instruction on how to create effective resumes, cover letters, personal statements and applications for scholarships, employment and graduate school. I am grateful that, given his demanding academic pursuits in science, Angel has continued to provide this popular workshop each semester. He is in the process of training other interns to conduct the workshop so that it will continue when he graduates. This is but one example of the wonderful contribution this exceptional student provides to assist others in their academic and professional careers. A truly exceptional student and concerned community member, he will make important contributions to the field of biological research and will develop effective methods to promote equal access to health care." — Philip M. Klasky, American Indian Studies/Ethnic Studies Coordinator, Ethnic Studies Student Resource and Empowerment Center
Angel has reached his final semester at San Francisco State University where he will earn a Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology with a Minor in Chemistry. He is preparing to pursue graduate research in human genetics. As one of two college-educated siblings, he has helped his family navigate a flawed healthcare system that "was often filled with moments of helplessness." He wishes to serve society and ultimately his community by developing faster diagnosing methods and mentoring students in the biological sciences.
He has worked with researchers at both SFSU and UCSF. With Dr. Marquez-Magaña of SFSU, Angel is working to develop new genetic screening methods for an aggressive form of breast cancer prevalent among young Latina and African-American women. Dr. Marquez-Magaña expects that Angel will earn no less than a PhD to improve the health of underserved populations and "to establish himself as an outspoken scientist advocate for health equity." Working with researchers at UCSF’s Institute for Human genetics, Angel is looking for new treatments and better diagnostic tools for epilepsy. He shares that his days between SFSU and UCSF are "long and exhausting, but I love the work I am doing. It's my love of science and passion for serving my community that drive me."
Denise "As a counselor for the ASPIRE Program, it is my privilege to have known Denise since the Fall 2010 semester. Denise is a highly motivated student. She proved herself to be responsible, dedicated, and hard-working. She academically excels in all of her coursework. I find Denise to be a very conscientious, genuine and caring individual. Although she has a busy schedule with coursework and housework, she manages to volunteer in the community. Despite her busy schedule, Denise maintains an impressive cumulative GPA at Evergreen Valley College." — Hang Chu, ASPIRE Counselor, Evergreen Valley College)
Just after graduating from sixth grade, Denise moved with her family from the Philippines to the United States. She has grown accustomed to life in the Bay Area, where she has started a career in the Health Sciences, now taking classes at both San Jose City College and Evergreen Valley College. She plans to transfer to San Jose State University to complete her bachelor’s degree. Her mother’s struggle with cancer has led her into the health care field, and eventually she hopes to obtain a degree in nursing.
Denise is poised for a career serving the community. From serving food in the "Loaves and Fishes" soup kitchen and participating in a 5K walk to fundraise for the American Diabetes Association to visiting the elderly at Mission de la Casa and volunteering at the Alzheimer’s Activity Center, Denise has shown her will to ensure the welfare of her entire community.
Denise wants to show that “being undocumented is not just an issue for Latinos, but also for other ethnicities." She advocates for immigrants like herself by making presentations about legislation such as AB 540 and the California Dream Act to students through Evergreen Valley College's OASSSIS program, which outreaches to Spanish-speaking immigrant students and provides them with the resources necessary to excel.
Dulce "Going to college is so important to me because I want to prove to my parents and siblings that although being undocumented makes it more difficult to attend college, it definitely does not make it impossible. Specifically, I want to help and inspire my older brother. My brother did not graduate from high school or obtain his GED. I want to inspire him to return to school one day and also prove to my younger sister that she too can go to college and, most importantly, transfer and graduate."
Dulce is the epitome of a migrant student. She and her family came from Mexico to California’s Central Valley, where they moved so often that she attended two elementary schools and three middle schools. Eventually they moved to Napa, where she attended high school. Dulce is now in her second year as a Civil Engineering major at Napa Valley College and will soon be applying to transfer to a four-year university.
She motivates her siblings by advocating for her own education as an active member of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). She also advocates for change in immigration policy through the Napa Valley Dream Team. With the latter group, she will once again help organize the Annual Dreamers Conference that brings together resources for youth who live in the North Bay Area and beyond.
Edanet "Edanet exhibits a high degree of seriousness and self-motivation. [She] is a natural-born leader [whose] skills have contributed greatly to constructing a culture of collaboration, support and strong guidance within my class. She reveals an excellent understanding of the importance of helping, guiding and supporting the different peers she has had the privilege and honor to get to know and work with. The inquisitiveness and intellectual curiosity she demonstrates are exemplary. The development she has achieved in my class is simply impressive; what's more, I can definitely say that she is a professional who can be relied on to assist and motivate fellow team members." — Ventura Garcia Ortiz, Spanish Teacher & Counselor
Edanet came from Mexico, where her family worked as farmers. Her father was the first to make the trek north, and the rest of her family soon reunited with him. At the age of seven, Edanet became assimilated into the Bay Area from which she now departs to begin her first year at the UCLA. This 4.03 high school graduate was involved with the Student Support Foundation, played on both her school's soccer and volleyball teams, and served on the Associated Student Body. She is now poised to begin the Pre-Medicine track at UCLA.
Gladys "When Gladys first joined our organization, she was eager to begin educating and empowering the immigrant community here in the Inland Empire. She was never afraid of a challenge. She’' always been a focused and determined individual to move our work forward. Whether it was involving immigrant youth in advocacy campaigns for immigrant rights or leading a region’s voter education efforts, Gladys has always been a reliable person who gets the job done…We knew we made the right choice in selecting Gladys when we needed someone to lead our Inland Empire Movement Building Team." — Horacio Arroyo, Director of Civic Engagement and Community Education
Gladys was born in the state of Jalisco, Mexico to a low-income family. She is the eldest of three children. When Gladys was eight years old, her parents decided to leave home and start a new life. She has committed that new life to improving her community. As a junior at UC Berkeley double majoring in Political Science and Media Studies, she is determined to continue to law school. Her ultimate goal is to serve as a politician because she believes that "by being part of the United States Congress, I will have great influence changing the issues my community faces such as poverty, civil rights violations and health problems."
She is currently interning with “AnewAmerica,” a community corporation in the Bay Area. She has been a tutor with both the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and English Language Learners (ELL) programs at Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley. As former co-chair of RISE (Rising Immigrant Students for Education), she organized the first UC Berkeley AB540 graduation in 2012 class, and led logistics, outreach and workshops for the 5th Annual AB 540 conference.
During the 2011-2012 school year, Gladys was also part of E4FC's Student Outreach Team. This academic year, she will work alongside Jose Arreola, E4FC Outreach Manager, to develop a "Psychological and Emotional Health Guide" for undocumented youth.
Humberto "Humberto manifests a sincere commitment to his studies and using research as a vehicle for cultivating institutional change. He constantly advocates for students and faculty to consider issues of race, class, immigration, and civic responsibility in his lectures, discussions, and campus-organized events. He has recently worked as research transcriber and consultant to the Center for Race and Gender collecting and unpacking data about the undocumented student experience at UC Berkeley. In the near future we are hoping to use his published research findings to develop an ally training program for campus staff and faculty to be educated about AB 540 undocumented student realities." — Meng So, Academic Counselor/Undocumented Student Program Coordinator, Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), University of California, Berkeley
Humberto transferred from Pasadena City College (PCC), leaving a legacy of activism with groups like Students for Social Justice, the Black Student Alliance, MEChA de Pasadena Community College, and United Without Boundaries (the AB 540 student group at PCC). He transferred to UC Berkeley in the fall of 2011, where he is now a senior majoring in Sociology and minoring in Gender and Women Studies.
At UC Berkeley, Humberto continues his efforts for social justice and equality. He works to improve the campus climate for undocumented students through his leadership in R.I.S.E. (Rising Immigrant Students for Education) and the AB 540 Coalition. He made vital contributions in developing multiple institutional projects for AB 540 students, including the UC Berkeley Undergraduate DREAM Act Scholarship and the AB 540 Ally Training Project. Humberto also worked towards educational justice for non-UC Berkeley undocumented students when he interned with the Youth Law Academy Legal Outreach Team at Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland. This year, with support from the Haas Scholars Program and the Marco Antonio Firebaugh Community Engagement Fellowship (a research program for AB 540 students who aspire to obtain a Ph.D), Humberto will conduct research about how undocumented youths' personal relationships are affected by their immigration status. He looks forward to using his skills and findings to facilitate "Undoculove Discussion Spaces" with fellow New American Scholars.
Jose "As a volunteer student TA, Jose has always been responsible, reliable and capable. His quiet demeanor can be deceiving; during lunch time a few weeks, I was surprised to see him single-handedly working the Students Advocating for Equity (SAFE) booth, giving out information about the club and raising money through cookie sales. As my student, Jose did excellent work. He has demonstrated a strong commitment and sincere interest in CCSF community" — Maura Devlin-Clancy, Department Chair, Computer Networking and Information Technology
Jose is a true San Franciscan: he attended elementary school through high school in the city and has just transferred from City College of San Francisco (CCSF) to San Francisco State University where he will finish his Business Administration degree.
Throughout his time at CCSF, Jose had the opportunity to develop his technical skills in the Computer Networking and Information Technology Department under the supervision of Maura Devlin Clancy, the department chair. As a founding member of Students Advocating for Equity (SAFE), the undocumented student support group, he is especially proud of two things: first, that the group has grown from five core members to a thirty-person team, and second, that SAFE endorsed Voices of Immigrants Demonstrating Achievement (VIDA), an immigrant resource center where he volunteered as an English tutuor since its inauguration. Jose cannot wait to see himself walking through the doors of San Francisco State University and finding where he can next put his education to good use.
This summer, Jose participated in E4FC's Creative Writing Program where he worked to develop his written and performance skills. Find his poem "Untitled" on E4FC's Creative Work website Things I'll Never Say.
Larissa "I want to go to law school to acquire the legal tools to fight injustices, for I want to positively impact the lives of individuals in society. I have a personal reason for my career choice. I want to have an effective means to empower myself and make a future for myself that is better than the one assigned to me by my stereotypical Latino, male-dominated family. Pursuing a political science major will enable me to challenge the judgments of those who think that a young Latina woman cannot overcome oppression and develop into an independent woman. Although life has been difficult for me in the U.S., I am motivated to improve my life and the community surrounding me through education."
Growing up in Brasil, Larissa constantly moved with her family in search of stable jobs. As paying bills became tougher, her family moved across the Americas and eventually to Daly City, where she graduated from high school. She studied at Skyline College and now attends UC Berkeley as a Political Science major. After graduation she will move on to law school to become a civil rights attorney.
Larissa has already worked for civil rights at Skyline. She was a volunteer with the Latin-American Student Organization, a member of the Puente Program, an Associated Students' Senator, Associated Students' Commissioner of Publicity and later their Commissioner of Finance. Through her diverse roles in the Associated Students of Skyline College, she had the opportunity to positively influence decision-making on policy revisions at the campus and district levels. As an officer in student government, she developed her communication skills to explain, defend, promote, and implement her ideas.
Beginning this fall, Larissa will work closely with Berkeley High School students as a tutor and mentor to inspire the students to take a stand for their own access to higher education and advocate for their rights as members of the community.
Martha "To me, an education is something that should be a right to anyone who wants to learn. From an early age, I knew that going to college was not going to be easy, and that even after college the chances of obtaining a job would be practically zero. But I seek to show that there is really no difference between me and any other student with the talent and passion to learn. The citizenship label does not accurately describe me. AB 540 does not tell you that I have a GPA well-over 4.00 or that I am usually the only Mexican in my AP classes. As the first one in my family to go to college, I want to set an example for my younger cousins so that they follow in my footsteps, so that they too get the courage to challenge themselves in those AP classes and see that college will be the stepping stone to get them wherever they want to go."
Martha arrived from Mexico to the U.S. at three years old. Part of her resolve to make a better life for herself is to inspire the younger members in her family. A first year student at UC Berkeley, Martha wants to prepare for a career in politics or law. She is interested in four possible majors: English, Rhetoric, Political Science, and Peace & Conflict Studies. As she goes through her semesters at Cal, she wants to inspire the women in her family to follow her in the struggle for a high education and hopes they will find strength in her experience.
Martha's high school teacher, Mr. Moreno, found that one of his favorite quotes characterizes her: "the important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become." It is this constant sacrifice that assures Mr. Moreno that Martha will continue to make her mother proud of her "mija." She has already made the Oakland community proud by completing over 300 hours of community service through Link Crew, National Honor Society, and Key Club. As a Berkeley student, she will volunteer as a mentor to undocumented students through College Track.
Mayra "Being the first in my family to graduate from high school and then to study genetics in college would show them how much I appreciate their sacrifices. However, in order to reach my goals, I will have to do things much differently than my peers due to my status. The Smith College Summer Science and Engineering program sparked the beginning of a new adventure in my life. I had never attended a science program, I'd never stayed the night on a college campus, and it was the first time that I left California...One day I know that I will become a well-recognized scientist in genetics. As a knowledgeable scientist, I hope I can influence future generations of Latinos to pursue science and medicine. I also hope to create new medicines for diseases that now have no cures. I believe that reaching my goal of going to college is my only hope for making my dream transform from an illusion to reality."
Mayra migrated from Mexico at a very young age and is now a freshman at Holy Names University, where she is working to earn a Bachelor of Science in Genetics. Mayra previously attended MetWest, a small high school that encourages students like Mayra to take rigorous courses at the campus and local community college. She has already taken community college courses in math as well as online science classes. Through her activism and education, Mayra hopes to change social inequalities and to seek justice for her community. She strives to advance health care access for the community she was raised in. She is already working hard for equity in educational access and immigration policy change with the group 67 Sueños. This group works to build support for the passage of the DREAM Act as well as to find solutions for the 67% of undocumented students that would not benefit from the proposed law. Mayra has been motivating youth in 67 Sueños to share their stories so they too are included in the immigration debate. Her most recent accomplishment with the group is a mural three blocks from San Francisco's City Hall. Mayra references her mother as the person who taught her "to think of others before yourself."
Moris "I am not a political person, but the mere act of knowing Moris has turned me into an ardent supporter of the Dream Act. The three words that best describe him are intelligent, talented, and giving. He is bilingual and bicultural; few people realize he was born in Mexico and has lived in the United States for less than nine years. While he is very active in Latino causes, he does not limit himself to the Latino community — his closest friends include those from all the races on campus. He is completely acculturated to life in the United States and yet he deals daily with the pain of ignorance and discrimination. While some people would come away hardened by such a life, Moris' experiences have motivated him to want to help others. While the college application process has caused him moments of pain and uncertainty, he tries to remain positive and I have often found him helping others with their applications. He is determined to become a doctor so that he can provide health care for the neediest." — Mary Conway, Arroyo High School Counselor
From Juarez (Mexico), Colorado and California, Moris has picked up life lessons that have prepared him to begin his freshman year at UC Davis. He wants to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and then go to medical school in order to improve the experience of low-income patients in the health care system. His own experiences as a pre-teen living on a Colorado horse farm have fueld his dream of pursuig medicine: he had to avoid outdoor activities because his family could not afford health care and he could not risk an injury; his mother lost many of her teeth because dental work was unaffordable; and his father developed kidney problems that drained the family's savings.
In his struggle to achieve a higher education in the medical field, Moris acknowledges that his parents' work and sacrifice must be coupled with his own dedication to study. In high school in California, he took advanced science lectures and helped in medical centers, specifically at "Clínica Alta Vista" in Oakland, where he volunteered and served on the advisory group, and the Ashland Free Medical Clinic in Hayward.
Nadia "Because she is foreign born, Nadia has a greater global understanding than many students her age. She considers the United States home. Her worldview combined with the opportunities of her new home has cultivated a desire to meet the needs of people with limited resources. She has been a member of Amnesty International and Interact Club and has volunteered with WIC (a federal assistance program meeting the needs of low-income women and children). She is a person of integrity. She is committed to high morals and ethical values. She is honest and straightforward. As a result, when Nadia makes a commitment, you know she will be there. This also manifests in a strong work ethic. She is a role model for young women.” — Larry Brassea, Young Life Area Director, Contra Costa County
Nadia transferred last fall from Contra Costa College, where she was continuously on the Dean's List, to San Francisco State University. She is working on her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology that will be the foundation for her Master's in Kinesiology. She is preparing to become a physical therapist for patients with disabilities such as cerebal palsy, low-back pain, arthritis and fractures. She wants to help people regain their mobility by restoring muscle function, helping to relieve pain and preventing future physical disabilites.
Nadia has a great sense of what her community needs. She has been a volunteer supporting children through WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) and teenagers through the “Young Life” program. At WIC, she was involved in a program that provided breast-feeding support to young mothers.
This summer, Nadia participated in E4FC's Creative Writing Program where she worked to develop his written and performance skills. Find her story "Memories" on E4FC's Creative Work website, Things I'll Never Say.
Nestor "The more courses I take, the more I understand the struggles that my ancestors went through to afford me the ability to pursue an education in whatever field I choose. It's here that I draw my motivation and commitment to school. My plans are to earn my Bachelor's Degree and build the foundation to pursue a career in law. I believe that developing and sharing one's personal identity, wisdom, and perceptions is instrumental to bringing about change and progress, which are two things I hope to accomplish through my education."
Nestor came to the U.S. from Mexico at eleven years old. He graduated from high school and began his higher education in community college. Three years later he is transferring to the University of California, Santa Cruz to double major in Sociology and Politics. Nestor identifies as both undocumented and queer. With his studies and personal experience he wants to effectively defend this community from overarching discrimination.
At City College of San Francisco, he began working with the Undocumented and Queer community "to connect the services available to the undocumented students through the VIDAS resource center and the LGBT Student Union to create a more specific and supportive resource for undocumented LGBT students." This academic year, Nestor will employ his wisdom and skills in the Santa Cruz community as an E4FC Student Outreach Team member.
Putri "Putri discovered that she was an undocumented student during her senior year in high school when she began applying to colleges. This life-altering realization did not deter her from the pursuit of her academic and career goals. She continued to demonstrate her academic excellence and involvement in extracurricular activities and volunteerism. She has become active in ASPIRE, which is a support and self-help group for undocumented students of Asian Pacific Islander descent. She defies the stereotype of Asian students who are seen as coming from affluent and college-educated backgrounds. She works very hard at her goals even though she is unsure that she will be allowed to realize her dream of transferring and becoming a physician. She represents the best of her generation of students." — Carol Okay, Counselor/Instructor, Diablo Valley College
Putri arrived in the United States from Indonesia. She attended Lowell High School in San Francisco and, just like her peers, applied to prestigious college and was even accepted into a university in Japan. Unfortunately, because of extenuating circumstances, Putri was not able to study abroad. Nevertheless, she is on her way to getting her degree in Biology at Diablo Valley College from which she hopes to transfer during the next school year.
Although her immigration status has created obstacles, her dream of working in the medical field has not changed. Interning as a shadow to pediatricians and surgeons has motivated her to pay back the community with her knowledge. She has been involved in the American Red Cross Club at Diablo Valley College for the past year and is currently the president. She has taken on a leadership role in the Red Cross Club in part because of the courage she garnered from members of ASPIRE (Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights through Education). Lisa Chen from ASPIRE commends Putri her community involvement, especially for her participation in the National Coming Out week when Putri courageously announced to all the students classmates in her high school AP Government class that she is undocumented.
Her story of overcoming challenges that result from her immigration status is a great inspiration for other students to recognize their personal strengths. This year, Putri will be helping students recognize their resilience as a member of E4FC's Student Outreach Team.
Rafael "Rafael is a rising undergraduate scholar at UC Davis. He is taking a rigorous comprehensive college curriculum and is consistently performing at a high level. What makes Rafael [shine] is his devotion to social justice and equity issues. He strives to help low-income kids and families living in poverty. He has a passion to serve underprivileged and disenfranchised families. His goal is to empower people by being encouraging. For example, several years ago he helped a group of new immigrant students adapt to school. He was supportive and helped the English Language Learners feel comfortable in their learning environment.” — Jesus Angulo, Academic Advisor of Educational Talent Search, WESTOP Professional Development Chair, National Hispanic University Pre-College Programs
Rafael's family left Honduras for Estados Unidos de America to look for a better opportunity. The Honduras Rafael left is still submerged in violence that takes the lives and liberties of many on a daily basis. He knows this firsthand as it has directly affected many of his family members. Once in the U.S., Rafael started dedicating his time to getting an excellent education, although it has not been easy. The toughest challenge came quickly after his arrival when his sister was diagnosed with leukemia and had limited health care resources. His family's struggles have strengthened his will to obtain both a Law degree and a PhD in Economics.
This fall is the beginning of Rafael's third year in college, but due to his academic achievements, he has already mustered enough credits to have standing as a fourth-year student. He is triple-majoring in Economics, International Relations, and Exercise Biology. The pursuit of these degrees will enable him to analyze the socio-political environment and to try to reshape the many factors in present-day society that lead to social inequalities. As an active member of organizations such as Latinas Contra Cancer, Care to Cure, Health for American, Circle K, Mixed Student Union, and SALEF's Fundraising & Technology Committee, Rafael has witnessed many community needs and is determined to collaborate on projects to give back to those who are less privileged. For his community service, Rafael has received the U.S. Marine Corps Excellence in Community and Service Award and for his academics he has landed on the Dean's Honor List multiple times.
Roschelle "During the time Roschelle has been Sr. Vice President of the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) business club, I have had the opportunity to observe her in action on the podium at the weekly SIFE meetings and at the weekly Board meetings. She exhibits diligence and determination. Seeing her in time-sensitive critical situations, I have observed poise and calmness with an ability to harness people and resources in an effective and gracious manner. Her energy, motivation and willingness to help others generate high participation and turnout by SIFE members and reflect her ability to be an effective leader. Roschelle has a strong work ethic and seeks to take advantage of every opportunity to participate and learn. I know she will be a very successful business professional." — Timothy J. Murphy, JD, CPA, MBA, Professor, Accounting and Taxation, Department of Business Administration, Diablo Valley College
At 10 years old, Roschelle came from the Philippines and since then has called the U.S. home. She recently transferred from Diablo Valley College (DVC) to UC Berkeley where she will finish her B.S. in Business Administration. Roschelle intends to be a businesswoman with a clear devotion to helping her community.
As a DVC student, Roschelle led fundraising efforts to gather educational materials for youth in the Philippines as a part of the Books for the Barrios program, coordinated a Children's Peace Walk, and fundraised for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. As a freshman, she was Vice President of Communications and Technology for Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and during her second year served as Senior Vice President for the organization. Both spaces gave her the opportunity to show her diverse skills, including web design. Throughout all of this school work and extracurricular activities, Roschelle remains involved with the Church of Christ and practices with the choir.
As a New American Scholar, she will share her professional expertise with the E4FC community through workshops in Resume Building and Interview Skills.
Silvia "When I told my grandma that I attended a university and was studying Mechanical Engineering, she looked at me with a puzzled expression. She told me that her parents only let her attend school until the second grade because the costs of attending school were too high. Only two generations later she was learning that her granddaughter was attending college — we cried together over this. Hearing all of my grandma's stories made me realize how lucky and blessed I am to be in school. I have always loved school, but now that I know that my grandma and mom were both denied the privilege of an education, I value it even more."
Silvia is breathing a contented sigh as she begins her last year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She has come a long way toward achieving her Mechanical Engineering degree. As soon as she graduates, she will begin her graduate school goal. She wants to specialize in engine design and conduct research in that field.
Silvia is a Cal Poly Engineering Ambassador, the Director of the Engineering Student Council (which prepares for Cal Poly's National Engineers Week), the lead for the Campus and Community Relations Resource Faire Event, and a newly admitted member of Tau Beta Pi (Engineering Honor Society). Outside of school she is a member of the Muay Thai traveling fight team and a fundraising member of the Society for Multiple Sclerosis. She is also actively involved in the San Luis Obispo Community as a member of the Student Community Liaison Committee (SCLC), which proactively engages in discussions and actions to promote positive relations, mutual respect, and improved quality of life for all citizens of San Luis Obispo.
Silvia, along with seven other students and three passionate advisors, made history when they officially established the first AB 540 student club at Cal Poly. She also gave insight into the perspective of an immigrant through her participation in E4FC’s Creative Writing Program this summer. Read her short story "The Blonde" on E4FC’s Creative Work Website, Things I'll Never Say.
Tia "My life as I knew it changed when I came to the United States at 10 to reunite with my family and get a better education. Being a first generation Mongolian immigrant has created obstacles far beyond my capabilities, but it has helped me become a fighter, a fighter who cannot only withstand such obstacles, but overcome them. My self-esteem, confidence, and strength have been tested relentlessly through my educational career as I have struggled to learn English and to fit in with my peers. Today, I can say I have succeeded; I am an American."
Tia is attending her last semester at San Francisco State University and will soon earn her Bachelor of Science in Health Education. It has been a long journey for Tia who has tirelessly worked to cross the stage and receive her degree. Her ultimate goal is to be a pediatric nurse, and she has been relentless in taking classes that will best prepare her.
Dr. Brinda Govindan, Department of Biology, describes Tia as the embodiment of "the highest standards of personal ethics and integrity. She has consistently demonstrated excellence in all of her work. She is that rare individual who continuously seeks self-improvement and challenges herself to surpass expectations in all areas. Tia has the academic foundation and emotional maturity to handle the rigors of a competitive graduate program of study. I am certain that Tia will make lasting contributions to pediatric healthcare in underserved communities."
Tia contributes to her community through her research and encouraging other youth to pursue science. This school year, Tia will begin tutoring students at Berkeley High School with the goal of instilling students there with the love of science and a passion to help the community.