Meet the 2018 KASP Scholars

Gisselle Alvarez ’22
Santa Rosa, CA
Political Science

Gisselle Alvarez is a first-generation, Chicanx student from Northern California. Her intended major is political science, with an emphasis in racial and social justice. She plans to eventually work in Congress or find work that allows her to help others. Gisselle is excited to make the most of her time at Cal.

Zaira Campuzano ’22
Santa Ana, CA
Spanish Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Zaira Campuzano was born in Mexico but raised in Santa Ana, California after immigrating to the United States. As a first-generation college student, Zaira wishes to major in Spanish to pursue dual language education. Although shy and quiet at times, she hopes to build new, long-lasting friendships at Cal.

Alina Chavarin ’22
Salinas, CA
Undeclared

Alina Chavarin was born and raised in Salinas, California. Her goal, with the assistance of the UC system, is to address and change institutional challenges that have allowed people from her community to suffer deportation, high dropout rates, drug use, gang violence, and irregular mortality rates.

Zion Cobb ’22
Sacramento, CA
Political Science

Zion prides himself in his character, work ethic, and resiliency. He’s compassionate, outspoken, and a focused individual that is very devoted to his faith in God, family, and education. Zion is someone who always has a positive viewpoint through circumstances, because of his faith. He is from Sacramento, California.

Mauricio Crespo ’20
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Political Science

Mauricio Crespo is the first in his family to attend a college. He’s heavily involved in his community, whether it’s volunteering for non-profits or progressing the DACA movement. Mauricio has developed a passion and elation for political science and history.

Jorge Del Castillo ’20
Chula Vista, CA
Philosophy

Alexis is a San Diego Chicano Activist and CPHS graduate. He graduated from Southwestern College in 2017 but later dropped out after dealing with serious life circumstances. He then relocated to Tijuana where he made a miraculous recovery and was admitted to UC Berkeley with a scholarship from an appeal.

Daniel Garcia ’20
Ontario, CA
Political Science

Daniel Garcia is a first-generation, transfer student from Southern California majoring in political science. Daniel is passionate about community service, law, and politics. His interests were inspired by his involvement in the student government at his community college. At Cal, Daniel plans to continue helping others and developing as a person.

Gavin Hall ’20
San Luis Obispo, CA
Philosophy, Political Science

Gavin is a transfer student from Cuesta College in his hometown of San Luis Obispo. He is an avid learner and enjoys finding new perspectives that can further his understanding of the world. He is most excited for engaging with his fellow classmates, professors, and alumni.

Yestli Hamelius ’22
Boyle Heights, CA
Astrophysics, Chicano/Latino Studies

Yestli Hamelius was born in Mexico, migrated with her family to Boyle Heights, and attended a dual immersion program in Montebello. Her community and education shaped her cultural identity, commitment to social justice, and appreciation for multilingualism. Yestli plans to major in astrophysics and Chicana/o and Latina/o studies at Cal.

Pamela Hasbun ’22
San Bernardino, CA
English

Born in El Salvador, Pamela Hasbun moved to California with her parents when she was six months old. They taught her how to read and write, cultivating her love for writing and creating stories. She now wants to use her creativity to teach, motivating people to live their dreams with confidence.

Angel Hernandez ’22
San Francisco, CA
Environmental Sciences

Angel Hernandez is a first-generation Mexican American student born and raised in the city of San Francisco. He traces his family roots to the state of Michoacan in Mexico. He is a soccer enthusiast, poet, and an outspoken risk-taker.

Rafael Hernandez ’20
Oxnard, CA
Computer Science

Rafael Hernandez is from Oxnard, California. He is pursuing a computer science degree and has a passion for technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation. As the eldest child and a first-generation college student, he understands his responsibility to show his two younger siblings that pursuing higher education is a realistic goal.

Tatianna Howard ’20
Union City, CA
Psychology

Tatianna was born and raised in the Bay Area. She considers herself an open-minded and goal-oriented person who likes to embrace the changes that life throws at her. She’s a cognitive science major because she became fascinated by the human brain after her grandmother was diagnosed with dementia.

Gissell Jimenez ’22
Los Angeles, CA
Bioengineering

Gissell Jimenez is from East Los Angeles, a place where Berkeley is never heard of. She spent her entire life navigating alone the intensity of college while surrounded by gangs, peers who didn’t have the same interests, and parents who wanted help bringing in money.

Fernanda Giselle Juarez ’20
Salinas, CA
Political Science

Fernanda Juarez was raised in Salinas, CA, and is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her identity as such has defined her character and passions; she is a translator for her mother, and her passion to help others motivates her to study political science and practice law, concentrating on human/immigrant rights.

Chelsea Ledezma ’22
Tulare, CA
Molecular Environmental Biology

Chelsea Ledezma is a first-generation college student from the Central Valley. Despite discouragement from many people, Chelsea has decided to continue her education in hopes of becoming an avian and exotic animal veterinarian. She is very eager to continue working hard at Cal and achieving her goals in life.

Shawntrell Lewis ’22
Oakland, CA
Film

Shawntrell Lewis was born and raised in East Oakland, California. Although she is an introvert, she still loves exploring the world outside of her comfort zone. She wants to double major in film and art practice and possibly minor in Spanish.

Jocelyn Lombera ’20
Redwood City, CA
Sociology

Jocelyn Lombera graduated from community college and is excited to study sociology at Cal. She was the president of the We for She Club at her college and a research assistant at Stanford University. She knows Cal will challenge her, but she looks forward to expanding her sociological knowledge.

Laurel Martinez ’20
Huntington Beach, CA
Psychology

Laurel Martinez is an incoming transfer student from Huntington Beach. Prior to transferring to Cal, she was a professional ballet dancer and continues to use many skills from ballet as a student. As a psychology major, she is excited to get involved in psychological research!

Angela Mendoza ’22
Santa Ana, CA
Music

Angie Mendoza, born in Santa Ana, California, is one who always finds a way, especially through music. She suffers from severe depression and anxiety, along with PTSD. However, that does not stop her from achieving her dreams at Cal. She plans to double major in music and environmental science.

Jacob Neel-Mott ’20
Oakley, CA
Political Science

Jacob Neel was born in Berkeley, California, but was raised in the city of Oakley. Jacob had a drug-obsessed father who was hardly around, which forced his mother to raise three children by herself. Jacob is excited to start his journey at UC Berkeley and contribute to his community.

Emily Nodal ’22
Upland, CA
Global Studies

Emily Nodal is a Mexican-American from Upland, California. She strives to overcome barriers of her background by dedicating her time to projects targeted at destroying socioeconomic divisions in her community. Emily consequently hopes to build a career in international development to improve the ways diverse peoples relate to one another.

Anthony Omole ’20
Hawthorne, CA
Chemical Biology

Anthony Omole is an incoming transfer student pursuing a chemical biology major in the College of Chemistry. He attended El Camino College where he was an active member of MESA and the Honors Transfer Program. Anthony hopes to become a pharmacist and conduct research relating to the health industry.

Edgar Oseguera ’22
Oakland, CA
Anthropology

Edgar Oseguera Martinez is a proud Mexican immigrant who was raised in East Oakland, a city with a bad reputation, especially the area he grew up in. The experiences that he had growing up motivate him to improve his community and other impoverished communities.

Yesenia Ivette Pinon Perez ’20
San Jose, CA
Political Science

Yesenia was born in San Jose, California to Mexican parents. While living in Mexico for five years, she graduated from high school at the top of her class. With her passion for education and with determination, she was able to move to California to pursue her college education.

Oscar Ramos ’22
Atwater, CA
Public Health

Oscar Ramos is from Atwater, California. He is a Latino and is the first in his family to attend college. His determination, perseverance, empathy, and experiences have led him where he is today. He enjoys community service and volleyball, and desires to work as a healthcare professional.

Joseline Sanchez ’22
Escondido, CA
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Joseline Sanchez is the eldest daughter of two Mexican immigrant parents. She loves to give back and make a difference wherever she goes. Her family and the community service she does have shaped her character and strong will. She is constantly looking to make those around her happy and motivated.

Mercedes Sosa Cordero ’20
Sausalito, CA
Cognitive Science

Mercedes Sosa Cordero is a Bay Area native with Mexican roots and a transfer student from College of Marin. She will be studying cognitive science with a concentration in cognitive neuroscience and linguistics. While at Cal, Mercedes hopes to explore undergraduate research opportunities and finally learn German.

Denise Tan ’20
San Francisco, CA
Architecture

Denise Tan is a 22-year-old architecture student born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Growing up in the Bay Area heavily influenced her architectural philosophy. She values San Francisco because it embodies the values of being liberal and open-minded, and celebrates being weird far more than any other city.

Osvaldo Valadez ’22
Hawthorne, CA
Computer Science

Osvaldo Valadez is from Hawthorne, California, and at the age of two, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which shapes his daily life. He uses his previous experiences to teach others that they are not limited to a specific place in intelligence and that change is possible.

Adriana Vanegas ’20
Aliso Viejo, CA
Business Administration

Adriana Vanegas is a transfer student majoring in business administration. In addition to serving the Berkeley community, she hopes to intertwine her passion for business and technology. Inspired by the generosity of alumni donors, she looks forward to supporting and investing in the education of future KASP Scholars.

Arianna Velasco ’21
Brentwood, CA
Political Science

Born in San Francisco but currently living in Brentwood, California, Arianna is determined to not let life’s surprises affect her goals. After facing a couple of hardships during her high school years, she learned to make the best of the circumstances and use them as motivation to reach her dreams.

Tristan Villanueva ’22
Chula Vista, CA
Civil Engineering

Tristan Villanueva is a freshman majoring in civil and environmental engineering. He is a graduate from Olympian High School in Chula Vista, California. Tristan was chosen to lead various teams for engineering, has been involved in a foreign exchange program with Italian students, and tutored students in mathematics.

Carolina Villegas ’22
San Jacinto, CA
Political Science

Carolina Villegas is from San Jacinto, California, a small, conservative town that has passionately inspired her to pursue issues of justice. Her passion for law originated from the struggles of her mom with immigration and from witnessing the injustice in her community.

Gustavo Villegas Felix ’22
Tijuana, Mexico, CA
Civil Engineering

Gustavo Villegas Felix is from Tijuana. He has developed perseverance and a strong work ethic as a result of difficulties in immigrating to the United States. He has developed a love for math and engineering, and hopes to succeed as a civil engineer and project management.

Ariel Zarrin ’22
San Diego, CA
English

Aspiring criminal lawyer and educator Ariel Zarrin has spent her life preparing for what Berkeley has to offer. She is vulnerable and fierce, a lover and a fighter, a 5’2” Latina who owns the megaphone. As a first-generation college kid, Ariel hopes to make her fans in San Diego proud.