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 California State University, Fullerton



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Scholarship Recipients

Meet our former scholarship recipients! 

2013-2014 Recipients

Victor Fletes

Victor FletesVictor is a Human Services major at Cal State Fullerton preparing to enter his final year at Cal State Fullerton. He has overcome many obstacles while working to complete his bachelor’s degree such as financial and housing hardships. Having lived without parents of his own, Victor hopes to be a father figure to orphans and foster youth through teaching and educating. He expresses: “I want to be a symbol for the children that through faith and hard work, life’s hardships can be overcome.” Victor also plans to pursue his doctoral degree in Divinity after graduating from Cal State Fullerton.

Jessica Lee

Jessica LeeJessica is a fourth year Business major at Cal State Fullerton and has a passion for helping others. Jessica identifies her grandmother as a positive influence in her life showing her “nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it.” For many years Jessica has participated in mission trips with her church to Mexicali and Mexico. She has also spent time volunteering at South County Outreach, the local food bank in her community. Jessica hopes to practice her business skills by working for a nonprofit organization after graduation to continue giving back and helping others. 


Larissa Sherwood

Larissa Sherwood

Larissa is currently completing her final semester at CSUF as a Sociology major and is passionate about pursuing a career in sociology related research. She plans to apply to doctoral programs in Sociology with an emphasis in human rights inequalities and exploitation. Larissa has volunteered her time with the Best Buddies organization, working to reduce inequalities at a local level in her community. Her dedication is inspired by her father as she says: “I aspire to be like my father in the sense that he has a strong family connection, is very dedicated to his life’s work and also has a motivation that drives him to new heights.”  

Danielle Smith

Danielle SmithDanielle is in her second year at Cal State Fullerton, majoring in Dance and Kinesiology. Having struggled with Bell’s Palsy in high school, Danielle developed an interest in wanting to pursue a career in physical therapy. “I learned that it doesn’t matter what others think of you, it only matters what you think of yourself. Courage doesn’t come from those around you, it comes from within.” Danielle has also been greatly influenced by her grandmother who always focused on the value of education, travel, and an appreciation for different cultures. She has spent countless hours volunteering her time teaching dance and cheer lessons and working as a camp counselor in her community.

Lizbeth Trujillo Sanchez

Lizbeth TrujilloLizbeth is currently finishing her last semester as a Business major at Cal State Fullerton. One of her greatest passions is helping high school students realize that they can achieve a college degree. She hopes to create an organization focused on promoting higher education to low-income families in underrepresented communities. Lizbeth identifies her father as one of the most influential people, and when speaking of his dedication to the family, she says   “I have witnessed all the effort that both of my parents put into providing our family with a better life.” 

2012-2013 Recipients

Diem Hoang

Diem HoangDiem is expecting to graduate in Spring 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. She is very passionate about education and is interested in becoming a university professor in the future. Having moved from Vietnam to the United States, Diem worked very hard to learn the English language and adjust to a new culture and environment. Her strong work ethic has been impacted by her parents’ teachings, and she is grateful for the sacrifices they have made. When reflecting on her experiences, Diem says: “I have a belief that being in the United States will give me the opportunities to help me reach my dreams.”

Kyrsten Gammon

Kyrsten GammonKyrsten is graduating this December 2012, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services, with an emphasis in mental health and substance abuse. She is inspired by her mother’s independence and strength which has greatly influenced Kyrsten’s personal development and growth. Kyrsten regularly gives back to the community through volunteer work at local nonprofits, as well as participating in service oriented student clubs at Cal State Fullerton. When speaking of her future plans, Kyrsten says: “I plan to be admitted to the Master’s in Business Administration program. My goal is to open a nonprofit community based organization that caters to low income families.”

Joshua Vargas

Joshua VargasJoshua is a 3rd year student at Cal State Fullerton majoring in Civil Engineering. Joshua enjoys reading books as a pastime for enjoyment and relaxation purposes. He is inspired by the strength and resiliency of his father, especially through the sickness and passing of Joshua’s mother. Joshua says: “I don’t know how my father was able to stay so strong through the whole ordeal. He showed me that if he could handle everything as well as he did, then there is nothing we can’t handle.” Joshua has given back to others in the holiday season by adopting families, offering gifts and holiday cards to those who are less fortunate. 

Spring 2012 Recipients

Eliza Ramirez

Eliza RamirezEliza graduated this past May 2012 and double majored in Political Science and Women’s Studies. She was the President of Mesa Cooperativa, a council that guides 16 Chicano Latino organizations. Eliza is inspired by her family, in particular her mother and grandmother. Eliza plans to pursue a future in law, and when speaking about her passion related to social justice, Eliza says: “My goals reach deeper than just studying law; I want to open up centers in low income communities that will offer classes on bilingualism, education and legal issues. My ambitious journey that lies ahead may be difficult, but I’m determined to create change within the world and walk along the footsteps of the inspiring people who paved the road to freedom.”

Maria Mederos

Maria MederosMaria is entering her 4th year as a Communications Studies major and plans to pursue a doctoral degree in communications. Maria is inspired by her mother’s strength. When speaking about giving back to the community, Maria says: “I plan on helping to empower individuals… I believe that I can be a good role model by being a mentor to children, because they are at a very vulnerable stage in life… I trust that the successful awakening of well-rounded individuals will help to advance our community as a whole.”

Gabrielle DeFriese

Gabrielle DeFrieseGabrielle is entering her 2nd year at Cal State Fullerton as a psychology major. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology, preparing her to serve as a therapist for troubled youth. Gabrielle is inspired by the selfless love of her grandmother. When speaking about one of her passions, Gabrielle says: “I love opening other’s eyes to things they have never thought of and hitting parts of their heart that have not been hit in years. My passions are to help people understand themselves and the world in a deeper sense.”

Marina Olmos

Marina OlmosMarina recently completed her freshman year at Cal State Fullerton and is majoring in Communications. She is very involved in missions work with her church and is inspired by the kindness of her cousin. Marina plans to pursue a career in fashion in New York City. When speaking about her future in the fashion industry, Marina says: “I am passionate about being a lady and living up to the expectations of a sophisticated woman. Being a proper lady comes with responsibilities that I love to do. For one, I am a huge advocate for philanthropy. It is very important that we serve our community, not with hopes of a reward for ourselves, but that the individuals receiving the charity feel blessed.”