March 10, 2006

SDSU Names Recipients of 2006 President’s Diversity Scholarships

10 Remarkable Students

Ten outstanding local high school seniors - including several who have seen or struggled through adversity as they grew up, ranging from homelessness to crime to the loss of immediate family members - have been selected to receive San Diego State’s 2006 President’s Diversity Scholarships.

The 10 students will enter SDSU as freshmen this fall and receive up to $14,000 and other support services over the next four years.

The 2006 President’s Diversity Scholarship recipients are:

- Cassandra Arroyo, Mount Miguel High School - Cassandra is a first-generation college student who helped hold her family together after her younger sister died of heart complications in 2000. She will major in biology and aspires to be a pediatrician.

- Michelle Banaban, Monte Vista High School - Michelle’s tumultuous childhood included witnessing difficulties with substance abuse and her family having to spend nights sleeping in their car. She will major in psychology and her goal is to counsel others through troubled times.

- Richard Carr, Morse High School - Richard volunteers in church and community activities and participates in SDSU’s Upward Bound program. He will major in English and wants to teach at the community college level.

- Renae Dudley, Morse High School - Renae saw crime and injustice in her neighborhood growing up. It has inspired her to become a lawyer and an activist for change in her community. She will major in criminal justice administration.

- Jennifer Fuentes, Castle Park High School - Jennifer is an accomplished athlete and musician and plans to become an officer for the U.S. Border Patrol. She will major in criminal justice administration.

- Wilfred G. Paloma, Montgomery High School - Wilfred has seen many of his peers fall into drugs or gangs, but he stayed focused on school and has a 4.23 GPA. He will be the first of his family to attend college. His major is undeclared.

- Monica Pannell, Helix High School - Monica is the youngest of five siblings in a single-parent household. Her volunteer activities include helping the Futures Foundation assemble computers to donate to needy families. She will major in computer science.

- Liliana Quezada, Chula Vista High School - Liliana moved to the United States from Mexico while in high school and went from not speaking English to enrolling in Advanced Placement classes in less than two years. She will major in astronomy.

- Lizette Uribe, Sweetwater High School - Lizette has been an honor student throughout high school and has played on the girls basketball team for three years. Her goal is to become an educator and she will major in liberal studies.

- James Shaw, San Diego High School - James has been a science buff since the seventh grade and works as a tutor, serves as an editor for his high school yearbook and is president of his church’s youth department. His goal is to become a physical chemist and help fight diseases. He will major in chemistry.

“These students make me hopeful for the future of San Diego,” said SDSU President Stephen L. Weber. “They embody the tremendous potential and talent of San Diego’s diverse community. I cannot express enough thanks to everyone in the community and on campus who have made it possible for these bright young minds to come to San Diego State University.”

The President’s Diversity Scholarship program began in 2005 and is open to any eligible student regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or national origin.

Each year it provides 10 local, high-achieving, low-income high school seniors $3,500 a year for up to four years - enough to cover virtually all student fees necessary while earning a bachelor’s degree from SDSU. The scholarship recipients receive other benefits, including an academic adviser, internship opportunities, fee waivers for student orientation activities, and an annual meeting with President Weber.

For more information about the President’s Diversity Scholarship program, call (619) 594-6464 or visit scholarship.

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