Student Highlights

In this section we want to highlight our current I AM students who will be attending college next year. They share their personal story and their journey through the application process. Also, they provide some advice for the next I AM cohort who will be going through the college application process next year.

Edson Orozco

Hello everyone, my name is Edson Orozco and I am a senior at Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School, located in Boyle Heights. I am a first generation student, who will be the first person in my family to attend college this fall. I wasn’t really into school until my junior year where I started to join college preparatory programs, sports, and doing other extracurricular activities. Doing this, it opened my eyes to pursue a higher education. My mother is my main motivation and everything I have done has been for her. She has been supporting me in every way she can. I want to give back to her and my family by going to college and making her proud and not make her regret anything in coming to the United States. Read more about his story here.

Jason Esguerra

The time my family moved to the United States roughly four years ago, I knew they had to sacrifice their well being, comfort zone as well as their own goals and aspirations in order for me to have a brighter future. I am eternally grateful for their sacrifices as poverty in the Philippines tips the scale immensely when one weighs the balance against wealth and prosperity. I have decided to take my academic talents to Cal-State LA in confidence of pursuing a degree in Business and Economics. And in hopes of pursuing an MBA in any well ranked business school in the near future. Read more about his story here. 

Marilyn Lanzagorta

My name is Marilyn Lanzagorta Luna and I’m a senior at Ambassador School of Global Leadership. I was born in Mexico but have lived in Los Angeles the majority of my life. Despite the many adversities I had to endure and overcome as an undocumented student, today I’m proud to say I’ll be attending UC Berkeley in the fall. Getting accepted to college was a moment I’ll never forget, I cried when I got my first acceptance letter. I was always fearful that I’d disappoint my mother or that I’d never be good enough in comparison to other very qualified students who were applying, getting in was the proof my mom needed to know her hard work wasn’t in vain. Although my mother was my initial motivation to apply to college, she wasn’t the only reason. I have a goal that I’m determined to achieve. I aim to become a pediatric oncologist and help children, who like me, are diagnosed with cancer before even becoming adults. I want to become a support system for children and their parents. I’m determined to give back the support and help I received during my diagnosis and treatment. Read more about her story here.

Angeza Santos

My name is, Angeza Santos and I am a senior at Downtown Magnets High School. I dedicated most of my high school career to tennis and Key Club, which I have no regrets of joining. Being a part of different outlets at school has helped improve how I present myself and given me more confidence in my social life. Since I am one of the few people in my family who live in the United States, I am expected to keep the American Dream, and take advantage of the opportunities given here. Knowing that my mom moved out when she was seventeen to work and help her parents provide for their family, has helped put into perspective on how much easier I have life. She has been my motivation to get through high school… Read more about her story here.

Jorge Juarez Duarte

Hello, my name is Jorge A. Juarez Duarte, I am 21 years old and I was born on March 30th of the year 1995 in Escuintla, Guatemala. I came to this country four years ago. When I came, I did not know how to speak English. I attended my local school West Adams Prep. H.S. where I was able to learn it fast within my first two years because of the perseverant character I grew to have. During the first two years of school, I stayed every day after school to receive academic tutoring which helped me in learning English. I went all the time because I love to study and learn new things. My main motivation to go collage is my family. I left Guatemala, my siblings were left behind. One of my biggest goals is to bring them to the U.S. and be able to be together once again. Read more about his story here.

Brandy Vargas

Some students want to go to college to make their families proud but I want to go to college to change the perspective of my community. I have grown in a community known as Boyle Heights and in my community when college is being discussed it seems as though it is merely one’s dream, when it should be everyone’s reality. The reason for this being is because the idea of college is abnormal to many of my community members, which is an on going problem in underprivileged communities. Read more about her story here.

Joselyn Sandoval

My name is Jocelyn Sandoval and I was born and raised in south central Los Angeles. I am a senior at Foshay Learning Center who will be attending UCLA as biology major in this fall 2016. My goal is to become a pediatrician and travel to developing countries and provide medical assistance to those who are not exposed to it. My journey in applying to college was quite difficult because I wanted to use my essays to help me stand out. It was difficult because I was basically competing with the rest of the high school seniors all around the world. Read more about her story here.