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2014 VALOR Scholars

Gicela Barajas-JacoboGicela Barjas-Jacobo (Las Serenas)
Gicela makes her parents proud by being the first in her family to graduate high school and directly attend a four-year university. In August she will begin her sophomore year at San Diego State University. Gicela hopes to graduate in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Although her first semester of college was difficult, she proved herself capable of overcoming any obstacle by the end of the school year. Support from her family motivates her to continue her education and one day fulfill her dream of becoming a successful businesswoman.




Cristian EspinosaCristian Espinosa (La Costa Paloma)

“I am 18 years old and have just completed my first year at Mira Costa Community College. My current major is art with a minor in architecture and I plan on transferring to a four-year school to continue my education. During my free time I enjoy working on my art, reading, working out, and studying. I value education and learning and believe that education is key for success. I hope to be able to give back one day as well.”




Alexis EstradaAlexis Estrada (Haley Ranch Estates)

“I’m the oldest of three and the first one to go to college. I like to write poems and do origami. Most of all I enjoy being with my family and friends. However, this will change because I will be living 10 hours away from Poway. This fall I will be attending CSU Chico and majoring in Child Development.”




Martin GarciaMartin Garcia (Hillside Village)

“I am currently going to Beloit College. I love science and math and I also like irrelevant stuff like yoga and exercising. Beloit is a small liberal arts college and I get a lot of attention from the professors. I am thinking about majoring in science, mainly in Physics and Biochemistry. I plan to use my degree and skills for medical purposes. I want to help people around the world with my skills. I may soon transfera better college that will allow me to further my field of science.



Mayra GasparMayra Gaspar (Old Grove)

“I am attending UC Davis in the fall and majoring in biochemistry with a goal to become a pediatrician. I have a family of seven whom I adore and love because they have always been there to support me. I enjoyed being a part of El Camino High School’s varsity volleyball team and being involved in AVID and Latinos Leadership. have a passion for working with children. CHW has helped me believe in myself and my strength to build a great future for my parents, and my community.”



Susan HassanSusan Hassan (La Costa Paloma)

“I would like to thank the VALOR Scholarship Review Committee for giving me the Valor scholarship award. I will now be financially prepared for the Fall semester and be able to afford school supplies & pay off book payments. I’ve tried applying for many scholarships and school jobs but haven’t had any luck. Receiving this scholarship has given me hope that working hard in school and succeeding is possible. I would like to thank Shakira Williams and Keith Cunningham for writing wonderful letters of recommendation. I plan to continue my education in community college and then transfer to a four year university.”



Brenda MartinezBrenda Martinez (Las Serenas)

“I am 17 years old and one of the few volunteers at Las Serenas Learning Center. I enjoy volunteering and helping the youth. By volunteering at the learning center I have gained many skills that will help me with my future plans. I will be attending Southwestern Community College in the Nursing Program for 2 years then transfer to San Diego State University to get my BA in Nursing.”




Rosa RomeroRosa Romero (Eucalyptus View)

“I am now a graduate of San Pasqual High School class of 2014. I have lived in Eucalyptus View Apartments for twelve years. This fall I will be attending California State University San Marcos; the first in my family to attend college. I have enrolled in my classes with a major in Biochemistry. I am looking forward to taking this new step to further my life and create new memories.”




Karla Sanchez-LongKarla Sanchez-Long (Las Serenas)

“My biggest priority in life is my family and my education. My family is the motor that keeps me going on the correct path and my motivation to accomplish my goals and aspirations. I strongly believe that with knowledge and wisdom I have guaranteed myself a better life and future. Throughout my life I have had to overcome several obstacles that made me insecure, but the challenging decisions and choices that I have made had a great outcome. I am proud to say that I have graduated high school and will attend a four year university with a full scholarship to pursue a career in psychology.”




Sheena SheltonSheena Shelton (Kalos)

“Three years ago my life changed. I discovered my purpose and passion in mentoring young women. I am determined to be the first college graduate in my family, earning my masters in psychology from San Diego State University and I will start my very own nonprofit organization for at –risk girls. I am currently a full time student at Mesa Community College and mother of a beautiful 3 year old named Mariyah. While my schedule is busy, I find time to give back to my community. I volunteer with CHW to run an all girls empowerment group called Girls Rock.”




Haja TurayHaja Turay (Kalos)

“I grew up in Sierra Leone with my nine sisters during the Civil War. My mother died after having me and I was raised by my eldest sister Mamie. I came to America as a refugee and when I got here I knew that I had to get an education. Mamie tried to afford to send us all to school and we went as often as possible. I realized more than ever how important it is to be educated. I am a student at City College, working to become a social worker. I know now how difficult Mamie’s life must have been. I want to make Mamie proud. She took care of so many children and now I am lucky enough to do the same.”



Elizabeth ZamoraElizabeth Zamora (Cedar Nettleton)

“I am turning 18 soon, and was born in San Diego. I just graduated from Rancho Buena Vista High School as a full IB student. I will be attending Cal State       University San Marcos in the fall, and I am very excited. Even though I am going in as an undeclared major I still have faith that I will be successful in whichever field I choose. I want to use the first two years of general education as a journey to figure out what I want to do and someday make an impact.”



Miguel ZamoraMiguel Zamora (Cedar Nettleton) 

“I come from a loving family of six: two younger sisters, a little brother and two hard working parents. My college goal is to become a professional software developer. My interest in computers has always been there ever since I got my first giant white computer. I plan to fully take advantage of this award and put it towards not only my studies, but to help give my future family a better life than mine. I will strive to continue being a role model by doing my best and trying hard in school.”




Zaira ZamoraZaira Zamora (Las Serenas)

“I am the first person in my family to attend college, and the first to graduate with honors. School has shown me that anything is possible because this fall I will transfer to San Diego State University. My goal is to focus on my area of study “Criminal Justice” but more specifically U.S Customs in order to obtain my Bachelor’s has contributed to who I am today.It has opened the doors to better myself as an the key to succeed in life. Without a proper education a person cannot obtain their goals.”