Meet the Scholars

The SDEF scholarship has assisted me in paying for my tuition and books for college and turned me into a better Scholar. After attending my first SDEF board meeting, I felt moral support from everyone as they were listening to my story. It was good to meet the people who are backing me up and believe in me. They know that I can accomplish my goals and I will not let them down. 

- Alberto Vega Hernandez, Senior at SDSU, majoring in Liberal Studies

Growing up in a family of two former math teachers, I knew at a young age that I would pursue a higher education. What I did not know, however, was how to pay for it. Struggling financially after immigrating to America, my family's situation serves as a daily reminder that I must give my best at school to become a well-qualified applicant for college scholarships and have the opportunity to better my future through education. The SDEF scholarship serves as a stepping stone that will push me one step closer toward accomplishing my lifelong goals. As I look back on my childhood in Vietnam, it was apparent to me the difficult life of those with disabilities. Due to lack of government supports and good healthcare facilities, many with disabilities live in poverty or end up on the streets. As the result, my career goal is to design and develop assistive devices that will give individuals with disabilities better chances in pursuing higher education and finding employment opportunities. I want to work with hospitals and research centers to aid members of low-income communities with reasonably priced devices and one day bring my innovations back to my country.

- Duyen Tran, Junior at UCSD, majoring in Bioengineering


The support I have received from SDEF has helped me pay for school supplies such as books, a laptop computer, and transportation. My goal is to become a high school English teacher. I know the SDEF scholarship will help me achieve my goals.

- Alexandra Palomera, Senior at SDSU, majoring in English

The San Diego Education Fund has played a vital role in helping me pursue my college degree. My goal is to become a high school math teacher. I have always loved math and excel in it. The financial support and the mentoring has helped make my dreams of becoming a teacher a reality. The mentoring, meetings, and check-ins have helped to keep me on-track throughout my college experience. I am so grateful to be receiving this scholarship and so thankful for the great amount of support that SDEF has provided to me.

- Mackenzie Kelly, Junior at SDSU, majoring in Mathematics for Secondary Education

The support from the San Diego Education Fund has helped me in pursuing my college degree because knowing that there are people around me who genuinely want me to succeed has motivated me to work harder than ever before. I used to be unsure and anxious about becoming a teacher.  However, SDEF helped me realize the importance of teachers and educators, and their role in advocating for change in society. As a result, the support from everyone has made me feel more confident about being a teacher. In addition, the scholarship has helped me and my family worry less about the financial burden of college. In turn, I am able to focus more on my studies and finishing college.

- Amanda Huynh, Junior at UCSD, majoring in Mathematics for Secondary Education