Success Stories

We Believe in Giving People a Fighting Chance

Melissa is a First-Generation High School and College Student. She volunteered as a tutor and mentor for middle school students during the pandemic.  She is a member of La Raza Club, La Fuerza Latina Club, United Club President and co-founder, Adventure Risk Challenge participant, Cheerleader (co-captain), and Softball. She also helped a boy she met through Adventure Risk Challenge who had migrated from El Salvador, becoming his tutor, translator, and voice.  She works at Dairy Queen and uses half her earnings to care for her animals – 2 dogs, a leopard gecko, and two chinchillas.  The other half she uses to help support her hard-working parents and even buys her father the puzzles he loves to complete. This scholarship will enable her to attend UC Santa Cruz with a major in Early Childhood Education.



Graduating Ohlone Spring ’23 with AS in Business

First-generation college student, emigrated from India

 Ramanjot is a First-Generation College Student who emigrated from India from a low-income household. This scholarship would help him attend UC Santa Barbra and achieve his dream of higher education.


Nicole, a First-Generation College Student, faces unique challenges in funding her higher education. As an applicant for DACA with no eligibility for federal financial aid, she relies heavily on local scholarships for support. Despite living with her father’s ex-wife and receiving no financial assistance from him, Nicole manages to work 16 hours a week cleaning houses while actively participating in school activities. Her involvement includes serving as the secretary of the Leadership Club, receiving awards for Student of the Month and Distinguished Scholar, and demonstrating leadership as the captain of both the lacrosse and basketball teams. The committee was impressed by Nicole’s independence, dedication to her studies, and school engagement. Although she received a promising financial aid offer from UC Riverside, Nicole, as an independent student, will need to work consistently to cover her living expenses. Unlike many students, she cannot rely on summer jobs to save for the upcoming year’s expenses with free room and board at home. The Boosting Hope Scholarship aligns perfectly with Nicole’s circumstances, providing her with the necessary support on her challenging journey. Despite the obstacles ahead, Nicole is determined to shape her future and build a successful path.


Right to Left: Michaela, Silvia, Tianren, Rukhsar

Michaela, a single mother and First-Generation College Student, faced numerous challenges while pursuing her education. Despite being a stay-at-home mother with a son who had special needs and caring for her disabled war veteran brother, she enrolled in college immediately after her husband unexpectedly left. She managed to maintain a perfect GPA while coping with the loss of her mother and three friends. Financially, she faces uncertainty and anxiety, but recently became her brother’s certified VA caregiver, earning a small monthly stipend. Her divorce has been difficult and costly, with her ex attempting to hinder her education. Thankfully, the court recognized the importance of her degree for survival in the high-cost Bay Area. Her goal is to earn a BA in sociology from San Jose State University to support her family, and this scholarship would greatly assist her in achieving that dream.



Ilze is a First-Generation College Student. She has strong academic and leadership qualities and was the soccer team captain. Coming from a lower-income family, this scholarship will enable her to attend college and achieve her dream of higher education. She will be attending the University of Nevada, Reno.

Right to Left: Michaela, Silvia, Tianren, Rukhsar

Terry is a First-Generation College Student, an international student from China. Terry is passionate about coding and had to proceed to the US at Ohlone College to pursue his dream against his parents’ wishes. He started learning to code like Linux at Udemy and Google Data Analysis Professor Certification Program from Coursera. This scholarship will enable him to go to UC Davis. Terry is motivated to pay it forward and help others after graduation.

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Barbara is a First-Generation College Student. She has strong academic and leadership qualities and was a student representative for the Student Advisory Council and Student Voice of the district. Coming from a lower-income family, this scholarship will enable her to attend college and achieve her dream of attending Santa Clara University.

Right to Left: Michaela, Silvia, Tianren, Rukhsar

Rukhsar, a First-Generation College Student from Afghanistan, faced significant obstacles due to the Taliban’s ban on education and work for females. Undeterred, she applied to Ohlone College and was accepted as a freshman. With the current dire conditions for women in Afghanistan, there is a pressing need for young female leaders to combat oppression. Rukhsar aspires to serve Afghan women by providing them with educational and professional opportunities, aiming to be an agent of change. One way she plans to contribute is by conducting online classes for girls in Afghanistan who lack access to education and growth opportunities. By pursuing her education at Ohlone College, Rukhsar is equipping herself to help others effectively. This scholarship has opened the path for her to complete her AS at Ohlone and proceed to a four-year degree college, enabling her to make a lasting impact.



Leydi is a First-Generation College Student. Her family migrated to the United States from Mexico for a chance to have an educational opportunity. Growing up was challenging because of her financial limits. She qualified for DACA for the California Dream Act. She aims to work towards a bachelor’s in Public Health and help people in their most vulnerable state. She is a Certified Nursing Assistant and plans to become a nurse after graduating. This scholarship will help her on this path by enabling her to attend Sacramento State University.


Adnan is an international student and is not eligible for financial aid. He has a dream of going to college and working in cloud computing. This scholarship will enable him to attend UC Davis. He is highly motivated to pay it forward after graduating from college.


Selected Videos

Michaela, a resilient single mother and student, faces hardships but maintains a perfect GPA. Her scholarship helps her achieve her dream of a BA in sociology.

Barbara, a National Honors Society student with a Seal of Biliteracy, will use her awarded scholarship to help her achieve her goals of graduating from Santa Clara University.

Nicole, a First-Generation College Student and DACA applicant, will utilize her awarded scholarship to attend UC Riverside. 

Ilze, a determined First-Generation College Student, excels academically and in leadership roles. With financial support, she will pursue her dream of higher education at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Melissa, a remarkable First-Generation Student, excels in academics and community service. With this scholarship, she’ll pursue Early Childhood Education at UC Santa Cruz.