2021 – 2022 TAAP Recipients

The Achievement Award Program (TAAP) supports low-income, first-generation college students in their pursuit of a Berkeley education. The Cal Alumni Association (CAA) congratulates all 23 of our incoming 2021–2022 Achievement Award Program Cohort.

image
Abrar Magzoub
Junior Transfer
Riyadh, Saudii Arabia
Abrar, a black muslim transfer student, originally from Sudan but born and raised in Saudi Arabia, is excited to begin at Cal. She is passionate about female reproductive health and plans to major in Molecular and Cell Biology. She hopes to apply to medical school and become a gynecologist.
image
Andre Ramirez
Junior Transfer
Redding, CA
Andre Ramirez is a first-generation student transferring from Shasta College in Redding, California. He is majoring in Civil Engineering and hopes to attain a Master’s in the major. He has spent his time giving back and advocating for his community, and he looks forward to doing the same at Cal.
image
Andrea Morales-Mendoza
Freshman
Berkeley, CA
Andrea was born & raised in Berkeley, California. She always felt as if UC Berkeley was an unreachable dream, knowing that the college application process was lengthy. As a first generation low-income student, she reached out to many people for support on her college applications. In high school, Andrea experienced a study abroad program focusing on global entrepreneurship in Germany, and even won an essay contest earning a trip to New York. She also participated and volunteered in non-profit organizations, along with working in different fields. After benefitting from all the resources she was provided, she is motivated, and feels a sense of purpose to give back to her community. She hopes to continue the cycle of supporting students, just as Cal students were for her throughout high school. Finally a golden bear, Andrea is excited to cheer on the sports teams and make new memories!
image
Ashley Sanchez-Gonzalez
Freshman
Los Angeles, CA
Ashley was born in Los Angeles where adversity and opportunity are both plentiful. As the eldest daughter of immigrant parents, Ashley was encouraged by her parents to tackle life obstacles by following her cycle of betterment: She asks for help, uses given resources, and applies her newfound knowledge to help others in her community.
image
John Lam
Junior Transfer
Sacramento, CA
John is a reentry student who is passionate about helping system impacted individuals with reintegration through his work with nonprofit organizations in Northern and Southern California. He looks forward to the next chapter of his journey through Cal majoring in political science.
 
image
Charline Bercasio
Freshman
Panorama City, CA
Charline is a first-generation Asian-American college student from Los Angeles, California. As an intended Psychology major, she strives to break the stigma surrounding mental health and wants to use her opportunity at Berkeley to give back to her community through service projects.
image
Crystal Swan
Junior Transfer
San Francisco, CA
Crystal is a blazing transfer student. As a first-generation Black woman, who is overcoming constant adversity, she continues to propel forward as she helps take care of her younger siblings. Crystal intends to become a librarian and work to diversify K-12 required readings to give school children voices of their own.
image
Emilie Salas
Freshman
Los Angeles, CA
Emilie is a Mexican-American first-generation college student. Her immigrant parents have struggled financially and socially. As a result, Emilie has stepped up multiple times to translate for her parents and she enjoys helping other low-income & people of color in her community in Los Angeles, California.
image
Emmanuel Lopez Ortiz
Junior Transfer
Rohnert Park, CA
Emmanuel is a transfer student from Santa Rosa Junior College. He is a first generation student pursuing his degree in Psychology with the intention of attending grad school for Career Counseling. Emmanuel’s career goal is to become an academic counselor at a community college and help students achieve their goals.
image
Jayden Zheng
Junior Transfer
Foshan, Guangdong Province, China
Jayden is a first-generation college student from Los Angeles. He enjoys analyzing sports data and hopes to renovate sports training with quantification and AI analysis. To dive deeper into the sports industry, he is excited about studying economics at UC Berkeley and learning hands-on skills on data courses.
image
Giancarlo Fernandez Cruz
Junior Transfer
Torrance, CA
Giancarlo Fernandez is a first-generation, Mexican, and Peruvian American transfer scholar thrilled to study Political Science and minor in Public Policy at his dream university. Raised in Torrance, CA he is passionate about making others feel a sense of belonging on campus and advocating for the protection of human rights.
image
Jacqueline Chavez
Freshman
Bakersfield, CA
Jacqueline Chavez is a first-generation Chicana student from Bakersfield, California. She plans on studying Spanish and Global Studies in hopes to make a difference for her community. Calling upon what she learns over the next four years, she plans on bridging the gap between Latin American community and low-income resources.
image
Joshua Graciano
Junior Transfer
Chula Vista, CA
Joshua is a transfer student from San Diego Mesa College, and first generation student from a Mexican immigrant family. He is interested in pursuing a career in the medical field to give back to his community.
 
image
Kainat Pachakhail
Junior Transfer
Berkeley, CA
Kainat Pachakhail is a first-generation college student currently striving to practice medicine. Majoring in molecular and cell biology and minoring in nutrition, Kainat aims to become a medical doctor and demonstrate to everyone that no one is defined by their limits. With a passionate mind, Kainat aims to succeed.
image
Karen Tirado
Junior Transfer
Los Angeles, CA
Karen is a first-generation transfer student from East Los Angeles, California. She is a Cognitive Science major. She chose to attend Cal to further enhance her purpose in health care and serve as a pillar to the communities that are underprivileged, underrepresented, underserved, or of low socioeconomic status.
image
Katie McKinney
Junior Transfer
San Leandro, CA
A Bay Area native and community college transfer student, Katie is a writer, video editor, and future educator. She is passionate and driven by a desire to help others. She cannot wait to start her studies in English in the Fall.
 
image
Lena Kushigemachi
Junior Transfer
South Pasadena, CA
Lena is a transfer student from Pasadena City College, intending on majoring in Computer Science. She is proud and excited to pursue her passion for coding at UC Berkeley and is interested in finding a career as a software engineer, making an impact on the community.
image
Makayla Propst
Junior Transfer
Torrance, CA
Makayla is a first-generation transfer student from El Camino College now studying Business Administration at Haas School of Business. She is passionate about empowering people to become leaders and team development. She hopes to become a business executive in the entertainment industry and help eliminate barriers for underprivileged communities.
image
Malia Knapps
Junior Transfer
Oakland, CA
Malia is a first-generation African American transfer student from Oakland, California. She hopes to pursue her dream as a clinical social worker to provide affordable and accessible resources and therapy to her community. She draws upon her unique experiences with adversity to inspire others to overcome their own challenges.
image
Michelle Maxwell
Junior Transfer
San Francisco, CA
Michelle is a first generation, re-entry student studying Legal Studies and Public Policy. As a formerly incarcerated individual, Michelle has firsthand experience with the criminal justice system and its injustices, and wants to change many of the policies and laws that have supported mass incarceration in the United States.
Rachel Kim
Junior Transfer
San Diego, CA
Rachel is a rising junior majoring in computer science and is looking forward to delving into Cal through the multitude of student organizations, research opportunities, and learning from the experiences of diverse-minded students.
image
Suchita Khanal
Freshman
El Cerrito, CA
Suchita is a Nepali American, first-generation college student pursuing a career as a family physician. After having experienced income and language barriers in healthcare firsthand, she intends to major in public health to become an advocate for patients and break down these barriers.
image
Tengis Buyanbaatar
Junior Transfer
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia & Los Angeles, CA
Tengis is an incoming transfer student from Santa Monica College majoring in Economics. Tengis always strive to make a difference in his community. Tengis is working toward starting a startup in the education sector and spreading awareness on financial literacy.

Meeting the recipients of our other scholarships.

Hear from past TAAP Scholars.


Image: Charles Poloka / Cal Alumni Association