Steve Schaefer Scholar I
Victor Barajas is a first-generation, low-income Mexican-American college student graduating from Diablo Valley College with an AA in Business Administration and Economics. On campus, he was a part of Puente and Alpha Gamma Sigma. He has transferred to the University of California, Davis where he is studying Cognitive Science, with the intent to pursue a career in Product Design or Marketing. Victor aspires to continue onto higher education to not only provide a better life for him and his family, but his community as well.
Steve Schaefer Scholar II
Xzavier Boykin is a strong minded, self-motivated young man who will strive for success through hard work. Having lost his father at an early age, and raised by a single Mom, he became a self-driven young man. His academic plan is to complete his AA degree requirements in communications at Diablo Valley College, and then transfer to Clark University, an HBCU. His goal is to major in Communications, and minor in real estate in order to join a major brokerage firm.
Frank & Kathy Gouveia Scholar Scholar
2016 Kennedy-King Scholar
Alejandra is a first generation college student who began his college work at Los Medanos College. She received a Kennedy-King Scholarship in 2016 and matriculated to the University of California – Santa Barbara. Alejandra graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication. Her aspirations to become a Family Law attorney or to work as a prosecutor in a District Attorney’s office are now coming to fruition. She is enrolled at Golden Gate University of Law. Alejandra capsulized her journey by saying “I came to the United States when I was 9 years old, and I am now a proud adult woman in law school. This country has given me endless educational opportunities that I am grateful for."
Frank & Kathy Gouveia Scholar
Clara is a single mother who is motivated to provide her son, who is facing medical challenges, an example of doing things the right way. She paused her education to care for her son, and has returned to achieve her goal. I decided that I will attain a career as a Spanish teacher so I can assist others trying to improve their quality of life. Helping to reduce the community’s educational language barriers is very important for our country. After becoming a certified Spanish teacher, I want to specialize in a multiple subject teaching credential. She is transferring to Sacramento State University to achieve her goals.Pablo. Her intention is to pursue a Business Administration degree at the University of California or San Francisco State University.
John & Sunne McPeak Scholar
Jonathan Canal is a first-generation college student grateful to be attending college and even more excited to be majoring in aerospace engineering. Financial limitations required that he complete his high school coursework online. It did not go well. Contra Costa College offered him a lifeline to complete his coursework, particularly in the STEM area. He did well, and his self-confidence returned. His interest in aerospace engineering also returned, so he will be transferring to the UC, Irvine. Jonathan understands the value of the Kennedy-King scholarship. It will “help me finance the increasing cost of higher education and help make me the first in my family to complete college.”
Harriet Garelis Scholar
Maria Cortez Cortez is a single mother who immigrated to the United States she was seven years old. Growing up in Richmond taught her the importance of resilience. Her parents raised four Latinx children in a country that they did not know, and a language they could not understand. She has endured both mental and physical abuse as a young adult, but has been able to survive with personal resolve, and confidence gained from her Psychology coursework at Contra Costa College. After graduation Maria plans to transfer to the UC Davis to further her education and obtain a BA in psychology.
Swarts Scholarship Endowment Fund at the EBCF
Elisia Cortez is a single working mother and student at Diablo Valley College. She is a double major in Addiction Studies and Psychology. Her next goal in life is to earn her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at San Francisco State University. Her long-term goal is to get her Doctorate in Psychology and become a Clinical Psychologist. “Saving one life at a time is what I live for.” This is her passion and motto for her education until she finishes the race. She currently is an active member of her church, Praise Chapel Christian Fellowship.
Laurie Fox Scholar
Having attended over ten schools in her youth instilled a thirst for some sense of stability and continuity in my education. Over the years various obstacles had presented themselves—homelessness, home schooling, caring for younger siblings, and the death of an older brother in a random event. Tickikue ultimately drew inspiration from her late brother and his love of literature, which she saw as an opportunity to reframe her future. Contra Costa College and Diablo Valley College gave her the venue to complete transform her future. Her intent is to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in English from UC Berkeley.
Gwen Regalia Scholar
A Los Medanos College student, Brittnee says “I am different and that difference cost me family, community, and support. My father worked hard to assimilate and be seen as anything other than what we are, Mexican. Growing up in poverty, taking on the parent-leader role to my siblings and being LGBTQ+ made me resilient. As a 30-year-old re-entry student, I pushed through the barriers to find success as a Sociology major and celebrate my intersectionality.” Brittnee is studying at UC Berkeley.
Steve Schaefer Scholar III
Ethan Ford is an African American man raised by a single mother. He says that the lack of a father figure in his life was difficult but taught him responsibility. He is currently putting himself through Diablo Valley College working three jobs to pay for tuition and books. Ethan’s major is Business and Economics. He transferred to the USC in fall 2022 to then pursue my dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. His peers describe him as humble, hardworking, insightful and ambitious. “I take pride in being a positive role model and mentor to my four younger siblings as I’ll be the first male in the family to finish college.
Steve Schaefer Scholar IV
Jose Gonzalez immigrated to the U.S. at a young age and now at 21, he plans to take a big step by transferring from Los Medanos College to San Francisco State University in this fall. He plans to major in Business Administration-Marketing. He has achieved academic success while tackling economic adversity in his household. Jose has worked throughout his time in college to support his parents in maintaining the needs of his home. His commitment to family and academic excellence drives him.
Concord Feed/Brickyard Building Materials Scholar
Vanessa is a first-generation Latina student who comes from an immigrant family. Since she was 15 she has worked to provide financial support for her widowed mother and a younger brother. She still managed to maintain a perfect 4.0 GPA in high school, and still found time to play varsity soccer and run cross country. She has maintained this stellar performance at Diablo Valley College and will be transferring to UC Davis to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Upon graduation she seeks a career in the field of industrial-organizational psychology in the field of human resources.
Park Regency Partners Scholar
2017 Kennedy-King Scholar
Sasha attended Contra Costa College. After being awarded the Kennedy-King Scholarship in 2017 she attended U.C. Berkeley where she became a Regents’ Scholar. She earned her B.A. in Ethnic Studies in 2020. Sasha is a second year law student at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Sasha is a single mother, and a housing activist. She currently serves on the Board of Richmond Land, a community land trust organization.
She hopes to work in public policy and government.Graduate Scholar
Uriel & Isabella Oseguera Scholar
2013 Kennedy-King Scholar
“Education is my passion; therefore, a career in education is my dream job” is how Rebeca started her application essay. Her original goal of working with elementary school students was altered the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) retained her to work with Special Education classes. She loved it! Therefore, she enrolled into the CSU East Bay Education Specialist Masters and credential program. As an education specialist she observed that the difference in educational outcomes is when the interests of the student are placed first. Upon completion of the program her goal is to work at WCCUSD to help students with learning differences complete high school and prepare them for their next steps in life.
Jim & Janet Kennedy Scholar
A Diablo Valley College student, Aria has worked hard during her educational journey because she has come to realize that knowledge is a key tool for helping others. She aspires to be a lawyer where she could focus on helping vulnerable populations achieve social and economic justice. Her interest in Political Science grew through her activities with Scholars for Justice, a club operated by DVC students to help previously incarcerated students adjust to an academic environment. Aria intends to continue her studies at UCLA.
Chevron Scholar I
Karrington Hendrix is a Diablo Valley College student who wants to combine her passion for mental health advocacy and technology to create an app to specifically help people of color. According to a study conducted by Columbia Irving Medical Center, the adult Black community is 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems. With this knowledge she realized that her brother’s suicide attempt was a part of a greater picture. She intends to major in Health Science, and minoring in Computer Science at CSU – East Bay.
Barbara Louie Fund Scholar
“Community College felt like a second chance,” said Journey in her essay. Born into a family that lacked maturity to raise a child, placed into a foster system that stole her innocence, and having endured trauma that tested her emotional well-being, Journey was in need of a safe haven and found it in college. She did well in her studies and became a youth representative on the Juvenile Justice Commission. Journey will be transferring to UC Berkeley to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
Ralph Griffin Scholar
Born in Haiti, Makender grew up in Oakland. Raising a black male was a difficult and dangerous task in that environment. Despite the challenges, he did well in high school and was active in athletics and student leadership. Starting college right after high school got diverted, and he spent time in many odd jobs trying to make ends meet. He returned to his goal when he enrolled at Contra Costa College. He will be transferring to San Francisco State University to study Psychology so he could work as a counselor for inner-city youth dealing with mental illness. He may also get engaged in local politics.
Perfecto Villarreal Scholar
After going through therapy to treat her Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Gabriella Kellerman has decided to help give back to her community by studying to become a clinical psychologist herself. She hopes to one day use her story to connect with and guide individuals with similar mental health experiences to meet their fullest potential of mental well-being. Gabriella’s goal is to become either a counselor or therapist. She expects to transfer from Diablo Valley College and Los Medanos College toUC Berkeley to complete her studies in psychology.
Chevron Scholar II
Marisa is passionate about protecting our environment. She was introduced to green chemistry in high school, and determined finding renewable materials to replace hazardous chemicals, reagents, and solvents was something she wanted to pursue. Diablo Valley College provided an avenue for pursuing her passion. She transferred to UC Davis for her Bachelor’s degree. Ultimately she wants to pursue a PhD in order to engage in the design of new products or methods that help people and the environment.
John & Julie Brown Scholar
2016 Kennedy-King Scholar
Dannesha is a re-entry student who returned to the classroom at Diablo Valley College in 2016. She had a double major in Administration of Justice and Computer Technical Support. She transferred to California State University – Sacramento where she received a Bachelor degree in Criminal Justice. She started working for a firm that produces software for organizations conducting clinical trials. Following the birth of a son, she is now pursuing her Master of Cybersecurity Operations and Leadership at the University of San Diego. She is currently finishing her second semester. She intends to become a role model for other African-American women who wish to pursue a career in the STEM field.
Frank & Kathy Gouveia Scholar II
Andres is a first-generation college student who emigrated from Venezuela to escape the political chaos. His goal is to become a Physical Therapist. With that in mind he intends to transfer to Sacramento State University to major in Exercise Science/Kinesiology. Andres lives with his parents and has worked full-time to support the family since he was seventeen. His philosophy is to address his circumstances as a challenge, not a problem. He recognizes that the financial challenge of pursuing an education will be enhanced with the scholarship.
Lesher Foundation Scholar
Attending college was not something that was a given in Jordan’s family. His parents are immigrants who immigrated to the U.S. with nothing. He worked hard and performed well at Diablo Valley College earning a 3.95 GPA. He found his career path through customer service activities. As an EMT he worked in primarily underserved communities of Alameda County. He witnessed what Martin Luther King, Jr. meant when he said “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.” Jordan intends to pursue a degree in Nursing at the CSU – East Bay.
Steve Schaefer Scholar V
Jennifer is a Latinx college student graduating from Contra Costa College as a Presidential Scholar with an associate degree in Business Administration. Jennifer is a full-time college student, wife, and mother of two young adults. Additionally, Jennifer works at a non- profit leading healthcare institution as an accountant. She is a Puente club treasurer, Cal CPA student ambassador at Contra Costa College, and active shop steward at SEIU 1021. She intends to transfer to UC Berkeley and later pursue a master’s in business administration to continue her work in the non-profit sector.
The Treehouse Fund Scholar
2019 Kennedy-King Scholar
“We all need a helping hand in this journey we call life” is how Phillip began his application essay. Phillip was a 2019 Scholarship recipient from Diablo Valley College. He matriculated to Cal State East Bay where he secured his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Phillip was raised by his mother who always reminded him that his greatest assets were his dedication and perseverance. Those were the words that enabled him to overcome obstacles such as beating cancer twice, anxiety related issues, and academic hardships. My goal is to become a licensed social worker so that I can build stronger communities and stronger individuals–the same way my mentors helped build me into the man I am today. Phillip is attending San Francisco State University.
Art & Robin Rangel Scholar
“I’ve experienced many hardships in my life but these obstacles have made me stronger. From being kicked out of high school in Zimbabwe to being a full time college student who has dreams of being a producer in Hollywood. Working full time, going to school full time and providing for a family is never easy, but my experiences have not only allowed me to aid other students in their educational goals, but I’ve been able to achieve my own goals in the process.” Chiedza-Loice will be transferring to Cal State Northridge to study Film.
Chevron Scholar III
Araela is a survivor of domestic violence and homelessness. She is proud of how far she has come despite these challenges. She has been an active member of the community volunteering for the blind population at the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Orientation Center for the Blind. At Diablo Valley College her counselors encouraged her to pursue her interest in earth and environmental science. Her perseverance in the classroom afforded her the opportunity to study volcanoes. Araela will be transferring to UC Berkeley.
Alfonse Upshaw Scholar
Delaney is a first-generation immigrant and student who decided to come to the United States at a young age. She came alone at 17. Despite economic challenges am motivated in making a difference in my community by promoting lasting change, not only as a medical assistant but as a community member. “My dream is to become a Nurse Practitioner not just to treat and support patients, but to spread awareness about mental health, homelessness, and domestic violence.” She intends to pursue her nursing degree at Samuel Merritt University.
Nikki Maziasz Scholar
Raised by her single Mom, Megan has gone through more than her share of life experiences including bouts with depression and anxiety, and physical disabilities resulting from a form of Muscular Dystrophy. Through high school she endured teasing and mocking from her peers. Therapy helped her cope, and inspired her to form a club called DREAM—Disabled Rights Education Activism and Mentoring Club. She has utilized her Contra Costa College academic performance to jumpstart a career path in Psychology/International Relations. Megan has transferred to the UC San Diego.
Kaiser Permanente Scholar
2009 Kennedy-King Scholar
Upon graduating from Contra Costa College Tamara transferred to the University of California-Davis where she received a Bachelor of Science in biotechnology. Upon graduation she affiliated with Children’s Hospital in Oakland working with an infectious disease physician. Her role led to studies of infectious diseases in rural communities in Kenya. She went on to work for a biotech firm where she conducted research studies in immune-oncology. In 2020 she enrolled at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. She expects to receive her MD in 2024. Tamara has stayed very active in her community by administering COVID vaccines. Volunteering at homeless shelters and helping high school students in underserved communities prepare for college and beyond.
Greg & Michele McCoy Scholar
Natalie is a first-generation student of immigrant parents. Uncertainty regarding the status of DACA has inhibited her ability to climb the socio-economic ladder. In high school she participated in a dual enrollment program at Diablo Valley College. In the course of participating in a podcast on mass incarceration, she was inspired to pursue a career in which she could help those incarcerated. It framed her desire to become a Criminal Defense Attorney. Natalie intends to pursue political science at UC Davis and then attend law school.
Sharon Simpson Scholar
Yesena Vega is a first generation college student attending Los Medanos College. She intends to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and ultimately attend Medical School to become a Family Internal Medicine Physician. She acknowledges that she does not have a traditional pathway or journey towards medical school, but believes her life experiences, drive, determination to study and learn, and her passion will make a unique story to one day share. She will be transferring to the University of California, Davis in the Fall 2022 to continue
Ron & Diane de Golia Scholar
Erica introduced herself this way in her application: “My name is Erica Jazmin, and I am a Contra Costa College scholar, Sexual Assault Survivor, Prevention Educator, and Humanitarian Advocate.” Her educational journey has been a whirlwind, with struggles and success. The trauma she experienced after the assault has been addressed with therapy, her grades have recovered, and she has spent time as Student Senator. Her goal is to pursue a degree in Ethnic Studies and a graduate degree.
She will be transferring to UC Berkeley.
Gagen McCoy Law Firm Scholar
2016 Kennedy-King Scholar
Rubie Villela is a first-generation college student who has gotten to her current setting without any outside help. She attended Los Medanos College and transferred to UC Davis to obtain her Bachelor of Science degree in cell biology. Rubie is now attending Western Michigan Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine, where she is working towards her doctorate degree. She continues to strive towards the goal of becoming a doctor and to serve marginalized communities. “My goal after graduation is to start my residency program for the specialty that I will choose during my last year of medical school.”