2014-09-29 Roberto Tejada

Aspiring Astrophysicist Discovered Working at Taco Bell

This fall, LACC Foundation awarded Roberto Tejada of Inglewood, CA one of its highly competitive President Scholar awards. Earning the designation of President’s Scholar is the highest honor that incoming high school graduates can achieve upon entering Los Angeles City College as freshmen. The President’s Scholar award provides outstanding graduating high school students who commit to attend LACC for two years with full support for tuition, books and supplies, in order to graduate and/or transfer to a four-year college or university.

Roberto graduated from Morningside High School the spring of 2012, with a GPA of 4.33 and dreams of becoming an astrophysicist. While he was accepted to CalTech, he could not afford the tuition so he decided to attend El Camino Community College. Unfortunately, the cost of tuition was still too great and he ended up leaving after one semester. Last spring, LACC’s STEM Academy Director, Jocelyn Graf, found him working at a Taco Bell.

Like many of LACC’s diverse student population, Roberto was born in another country, El Salvador. His parents both graduated from a state university in El Salvador and had careers as engineers — his mother a civil engineer and father a telecommunications engineer. However, with limited opportunities, Roberto, his father, and his younger brother and sister, all left for the United States as his father embarked on making a better life for his children.

As a President’s Scholar, Roberto will have all of his tuition, books, supplies and fees paid for by LACC Foundation during his two years here. Roberto’s goal is to transfer to Berkeley to study astrophysics and then embark on a career, which as he puts it, will “allow him to put things in space.”

Supporting More Students Like Roberto

LACC Foundation could not award scholarships like these without the support of our donors. This fall, on Monday, November 3rd, LACC Foundation is honoring outstanding alumni and organizations who have exhibited a strong commitment to the College at its Gala. All proceeds from this event will go to fund scholarships for our very deserving students, like Roberto. If you cannot attend, please consider making a donation in support of LACC students.

More About President’s Scholars

In addition to the scholarship, each President’s Scholar receives a notebook tablet, campus orientation, free parking, free admission to cultural events, membership in the Ralph Bunche Honors program and an invitation to an annual reception with the college president. Applicants interested in becoming a President’s Scholar undergo a rigorous selection process from a highly-qualified pool of applicants. All applicants for the President’s Scholar award are entering freshman with a minimum grade point average of 3.75. Applicants must also achieve successful college assessment for Math 125 and English 101 at LACC.

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