Our founders set out to break the cycle of generational poverty with hopes that the first person in the family to attend college would inspire siblings to follow. However, we never thought we would award multiple scholars from the same family!
Sisters Jennifer and Michelle Diaz are our first Education First scholarship recipient siblings.
In 2016, Michelle became an Education First scholarship recipient and was ecstatic when her younger sister, Jennifer, won the same scholarship two years later in 2018. Michelle is in her last year at University of California, Riverside while Jennifer is starting her second year at Cal State University, Northridge.
As an older sibling that strives to motivate my younger sister, it was a beautiful moment for me to see her win the same scholarship.Michelle Diaz
When their family immigrated to the U.S. from Honduras, their father moved to Mexico, leaving the sisters to be brought up in a single-parent household. They were raised by their mother who had only obtained a sixth grade education and saw firsthand her struggle for work to provide for their family, including a daughter with special needs.
The youngest of five daughters, Michelle and Jennifer saw the hardships their mother and siblings had to overcome and were determined to break that cycle by furthering their education and working toward achieving their goals. As they’re very close to their family, both Michelle and Jennifer decided to attend colleges local to Los Angeles in order to continue supporting their family.
Michelle is currently a fourth year student majoring in political science and administrative studies. Though she isn’t interested in a career in politics or government, she will be attending graduate school in Europe. As a part of the University of California Education Abroad Program, Michelle will be studying politics, economics and business courses at the University of Bordeaux. At the completion of her program, she plans to return to Los Angeles and work in financial services, banking or the non-profit sector so she can give back to her community. She currently volunteers as an intern at 826LA, a non-profit tutoring organization, to engage youth in underserved communities and plans to continue working with organizations that serve those in need.
Having a sister with a disability inspired Jennifer to advocate for an inclusive environment for people with disabilities. Jennifer intends to further support those efforts once she graduates.
The sisters will be the first in their family to attain college degrees and are excited for the opportunities that have allowed them to pursue their dreams.