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Celia Flores - March 2014 Scholar of the Month

Celia Anahi Flores Delgado
2013 CHCI-Que Rica Vida Scholar
Richmond, California
B.S., Marine Biology
University of California—Santa Cruz

Having always lived in underserved communities, I grew up with two very distinct visions of my future. Part of me wanted to get out and experience what it is like to be on the other side and not come back. Another part of me wanted to grow up and stay in these kinds of communities because it has always been the only thing I’ve ever known. I have been afraid of what it feels like to succeed, mostly because I was told that people like me do not make it. Now, my goal is to help others who have been in a similar position and help them reach their goals.

In 1999, my family and I migrated from Nayarit, Mexico to Los Angeles, California before moving into the bay area in the year 2000. We moved a few times before settling into a home in Richmond, California where crime is something to be expected everyday.  It is this community that I now call home and is also the community that taught me the importance of giving back.

When I was younger, I disliked attending school, mostly because I did not know how to speak English and that comes with its own set of hardships like being a target for bullies and having to try twice as hard to learn the material being taught. Nevertheless, I liked learning, so I did not give up when I did not understand what the teacher was saying. It was not until fourth grade that I really felt that my teacher took an interest in me and cared if I was learning or not. My teacher, with the best intentions at heart, introduced me to thr Making Waves Education Program, which completely changed my life. Making Waves is a program that helps low-income and minority students receive a quality education by providing them with free tutoring as well as some financial assistance to attend quality schools. With their eight year support, I was able to apply to and get accepted into the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I am now studying to get my degree in Marine Biology.

When I decided to go to UC Santa Cruz, I thought that I would be leaving my community full of poverty and hate and go into a better community with more equality. I soon learned that although it is a great opportunity to live outside of an underserved community, my calling is not to stay there forever, but to help those back in my community of need. It took me a while, but I learned this lesson getting involved with a program called the Academic Excellence Program (ACE). ACE is a program that helps a diverse group of students majoring in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by providing them not only free tutoring, but also a mentor who genuinely has the students’ best interest in mind.

Both Making Waves and ACE have been a very big part of my life and both of those programs have a similar purpose: to help the underserved community and the low-income community.  When I realized that these two major parts of my life got me to where I am today, I quickly realized we need more programs like these and more people willing to help those in need even if their salary is not the best. It was then that I realized that I wanted to help communities like the ones that I have come out of. Although I have thought of helping communities like my own through being a part of the medical field, I am not quite certain that is what I want to do. What I am certain about is what I want to make an impact on low-income and disadvantaged communities.

Past Scholar of the Month

Daniela Carbajal - July 2015 Scholar of the Month
Beverly Apodaca - May 2015 Scholar of the Month
Edwin Hurtado - April 2015 Scholar of the Month
David Rodriguez - March 2015 Scholar of the Month
Jennifer Villalobos - February 2015 Scholar of the Month
Maria Garibay Campos - January 2015 Scholar of the Month
Samantha Perez - December 2014 Scholar of the Month
Andrea Gutierrez - November 2014 Scholar of the Month
Elias Jimenez - September 2014 Scholar of the Month
Monserrat Baeza - August 2014 Scholar of the Month
Mayra Estrada - July 2014 Scholar of the Month
Isaias Faustino - June 2014 Scholar of the Month
Wendy Cartagena-Gonzalez - May 2014 Scholar of the Month
Cesar Esteban Bernal - April 2014 Scholar of the Month
Celia Flores - March 2014 Scholar of the Month
Aldo Sosa - February 2014 Scholar of the Month
Mikayla B. Aviles - January 2014 Scholar of the Month
Christian Guerrero - December 2013 - Scholar of the Month
Esperanza Perez - November 2013 - Scholar of the Month
Adrian Rosas September 2013 Scholar of the Month
Vivienne T. Meljen - August 2013 Scholar of the Month
Sophia DeAraujo - July 2013 SOTM
Ricky Vides - Scholar of the Month - June 2013
Kelvin Castillo - Scholar of the Month - May 2013
Xochitl Davila - Scholar of the Month - April 2013
Brian Ibarra - March 2013 Scholar of the Month
Jacqueline B. Odum - February 2013 Scholar of the Month
Alexis Nava Teodoro - January 2013
Cristina Gil - December 2012
Roy Nuñez -- November 2012 Scholar
Karla Arevalo-Alas -- October 2012 Scholar
Luis C. Alvarez Scholar -- September 2012
Carolina Gonzalez Scholar -- July 2012
Daniel Caraballo Scholar -- June 2012
Rose Aviles Scholar -- May 2012
Felix A. Navarro, Jr.-April 2012 Scholar
Andie Lee Gonzalez-March 2012 Scholar
Kevin Magaña-February 2012 Scholar
Rebecca Rodriguez-January 2012 Scholar
Erika S. DiVivo-August Scholar
Wesley Quevedo - July Scholar
Arlett A. Aguayo - June Scholar
Ricardo L. Baez-May Scholar
Natalie Chiriboga - April Scholar
Eddie L. Castanon - March 2011
Monica Avila -- February 2011
Daniel R. Lopez -- December 2010
Maria Murillo -- November 2010
Gilberto Chaidez, Jr. -- August 2010
Stephanie A. Alvarez -- July 2010
Christian Amador -- June 2010
Isabeth Mendoza --May 2010