For Joslyn Garcia, the benefits of winning the SVCF-managed Latinos in Technology Scholarship extend well beyond the tremendous opportunities it has helped open up for her.
Latinos in Technology Scholarship recipient
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The scholarship, which pays up to $10,000 a year for her next three years at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is also a cherished gift from the college junior to her hard-working parents, who never got the opportunity to attend college themselves. But they modeled for their A-student daughter a tremendous determination and work ethic, honed from their days picking strawberries in the fields of Coyote, Calif., where they met, and carried into their current occupations -- general contractor, for father Jose, and mail carrier, for mother Maria.
“When I applied to UCLA, one condition was that I would apply for scholarships to help pay the tuition," Joslyn said. “My parents are so loving, they wanted to pay for college,” but their income fell in the zone of too high for most need-based scholarships, too low to cover college’s steep annual costs.
In 2016, her sophomore year, she applied for and won a Latinos in Technology Scholarship, offered to students of Latino or Hispanic origin through the generosity of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley.
"Not only does this scholarship make attending school easier, it brings a lot of pride to my family, knowing there are people who understand and support me” as a first-generation, Latina student, Joslyn said.
With her tuition covered by that and other scholarships she secured at UCLA, Joslyn has been able to fully immerse herself in all that her university has to offer. So far, that includes three internships: one at the Toyota Technical Center in Michigan, one as an engineering intern at NASA, and one as a component test engineer at Northrop Grumman.
Each of those experiences has taught her more about what she wants from her future as a mechanical engineer, she says. And each gave her more confidence in her own abilities and place in the world.
“The first few years at UCLA I had low self-esteem, coming into this competitive school,” she said. “Putting myself into challenging experiences, including asking questions no matter how dumb, has really helped me. I have decided to live with a philosophy that there is good in every experience in life, to not feel any regret for any experience.”
The scholarship may also help her beloved family in other ways, too. “My mom might be able to retire early because of the scholarships I’ve been getting,” said a delighted Joslyn. “I want an easier life for my parents.”
Scholarship information and resources
The Latinos in Technology Scholarship is one of more than 45 scholarships administered by SVCF and established by individuals, corporations or other donors. Since 2007, more than $14 million has been awarded through SVCF scholarships to deserving scholars.
The Latinos in Technology Scholarship is currently accepting applications online -- students may apply until Nov. 13.
Information about SVCF's other scholarship programs will be available in early December. The majority of the scholarships accept applications starting in January. Interested students are encouraged to subscribe to scholarship email updates, or learn more at siliconvalleycf.org/scholarships.