San Ysidro Rising Scholars

2022 Scholarship Recipients

Marissa Ramirez

University of Califorinia, Los Angeles

My name is Marissa Ramirez and I am a first-generation college from San Ysidro, California where I have lived all 18 years of my life. I come from Mexican heritage and was always taught the importance of pursuing a higher education degree. While I was in high school, I was a part of several student organizations and teams, such as the Associated Student Body (ASB), Girls’ Softball, the AVID Program, and so much more where I tried my best to serve my school and the students there.

This fall, I am attending the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where I plan on majoring in Cognitive Science which an interdisciplinary field that draws on psychology, computer science, philosophy, and neuroscience. I hope to earn a degree in this field in order to help those who deal with mental health issues or to work with artificial intelligence and technology. I am not 100% sure of my path yet, but I am positive this degree will open doors for me in many fields in the future.

In addition to being awarded the San Ysidro Rising Scholar’s Award, I was also a recipient of the CABE Scholarship and the San Ysidro Women’s Club Scholarship. As the first in my family to head off to college, I am very motivated to make my family proud and bring pride to the community of San Ysidro. My ultimate goal is to be able to give back to my community and be able to help other Latinos who strive for higher education.

Angel Eduardo Lopez

San Diego State University

Hi! My name is Angel Eduardo Lopez. I was born and raised in San Ysidro alongside my immigrant parents whose hopes and dreams were to provide me and my siblings a better education and future in the U.S. As a first-generation college student, it has not been an easy ride staying focused in order to reach my goals, however, I have done just that. I am currently enrolled at SDSU and will begin classes this fall. My plan is to major in Criminal Justice and one day join the FBI. It has been a dream of mine to become an FBI agent as a way to one day be able to give back to my community via my job as well as in any other ways I am able to. In addition to pursue my bachelor’s degree, I also wish to continue my soccer career at SDSU, but only time will tell what is left for me to fill in the sports field.

In addition to being a California Scholarship Federation graduate with Highest Honors I was also named the Men’s Scholar Athlete of the year for the Class of 2022 at San Ysidro High School as a Tri-Athlete who during my time at SYHS played varsity soccer, volleyball, and football. I hope to continue this path during my 4 years at SDSU and continue playing sports while still doing excelling academically. It excites me to accomplish enough during my college career and my future to be able to put my name and the one of my community of San Ysidro high up where it belongs.

2021 Scholarship Recepients

Jackeline Jimenez Ayala

University of California, San Diego

San Ysidro Mentor: Oscar Zavala

Hello! My name is Jackeline Jimenez Ayala. I was born in Tijuana, Baja California. While I was still young, my parents decided to move our family to the US, more specifically, the border town of San Ysidro, CA in the hopes of giving my siblings and me better opportunities. Fast forward years later, I am now a first-generation college student at the University of California, San Diego where I plan on majoring in Chemistry. Currently, I am interested in two very different professional paths - environmental science and immigration law. One thing I am certain of is that whatever choice I make, I want to give back to my community. Not only by becoming a professional but using my resources in the non-profit sector. Ultimately, I aspire to become an individual my family and community can be proud of. In addition to the San Ysidro Rising Scholar Award, I am also the recipient of the AVID Founder Scholarship, the Lamp of Learning Scholarship, and UCSD’s Regents Scholarship.

Angel Brianna Martinez

University of California, Berkeley

San Ysidro Mentor: Julissa Muñiz

Angel Brianna Martinez is a first-generation college student and the child of a working-class, Mexican immigrant mother. Brianna grew up along the United States/Mexico border and has spent the majority of her time living between San Ysidro, California and Tijuana, Mexico due to her father’s deportation in her early childhood. Brianna's experiences living across two different countries have greatly shaped her identity and have fostered an interest in wanting to support her community in ways she largely viewed as unimaginable up until now.

As a UC Berkeley Regents Scholar and member of the SEED Scholars Honors Program, Brianna hopes her journey in higher education propels her towards a career in which she can serve her multinational communities: as a physician! Brianna is excited to carve an original path for herself in academic frameworks and beyond by pursuing a double major in Chemical Biology and Public Health to address some of the structural and systemic barriers that inhibit people from her community from receiving proper medical care.

Upon graduating from UC Berkeley, Brianna is interested in attending medical school, where she will continue working towards her dream of one day being a physician. The San Ysidro Rising Scholar Award has served as a stepping stone for Brianna in her journey as it has provided her with the financial and personal resources to better navigate higher education.

Kimberly Gonzalez-Zelaya

Stanford University

My name is Kimberly Gonzalez-Zelaya and I'm a Nahua Wixarika (Mexico) and Maya Lenca (El Salvador) queer transfronteriz@ from San Ysidro, California and Tijuana, Mexico. I go by she, they, or any pronouns. I intend to double major in Sociology and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity with a specialization in Chicana/o-Latino/a studies and a minor in Education at Stanford University. I aspire to become a public interest or immigration attorney, however, my ultimate goal is to work within education administration and policy. In addition to being a part of San Ysidro High's first cohort of Rising Scholars, I'm also a Questbridge Scholar, a Gates Scholar, a Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar, and a Stanford Leland Scholar.