Graduating seniors share their big ambitions
Prepared with their UC San Diego education and experiences, these three outstanding seniors are ready for what’s next. Each received scholarships that recognized their excellence, helped them afford their education and offered them rewarding experiences outside the classroom.
Scholarship support is an investment in the lives of individual students, and in the future they create for themselves. Scholarships touch our students’ lives, and those lives go on to touch the world.
Graduating senior Aditi Gupta has her sights set on obtaining her doctoral degree in bioengineering—the same subject she studied as an undergraduate at UC San Diego. “I love the major, I love what I’ve learned,” she says. Gupta plans to use her education to provide global health solutions, creating low-cost diagnostics and therapeutics for use in resource- limited settings. Her goal is to expand access to quality healthcare all over the world.
“I am also very interested in entrepreneurship, so I hope to one day start my own company that tackles the issue of expensive healthcare technologies by making [products] accessible to people around the world,” says Gupta.
Gupta received the prestigious Regents Scholarship, which is designed to recognize extraordinary leaders in the making. The support allowed her to focus her attention on her education—and making an inspiring impact around the globe even as an undergraduate. As a member of the Engineering World Health student organization, Gupta helped develop a low-cost HIV viral load test to be implemented in Mozambique. She and several friends also developed a laptop anti-theft device which so far has earned $20,000 in seed funding and is expected to go-to-market within the year.
Anthony Lopez has overcome more adversity than most people deal with in their entire lives—all before his 18th birthday. The computer engineering major was homeless as a teen, “couch surfing” at friends’ homes after both his parents were unable to care for him and his sister.
Eventually, the siblings found the Toussaint Academy group home, which is focused on turning young lives around. It worked. Lopez earned acceptance to all 10 UC campuses and ultimately chose UC San Diego. He has thrived ever since, learning about wireless and computer hardware security. Scholarships, including the Walsh Chacon Scholarship, gave him the opportunity to participate in experiences such as research projects, seminars and professional conferences. He has dedicated time to tutoring and mentoring younger students and also serves as captain of the campus badminton team.
With graduation in June, Lopez has applied to graduate programs at UC San Diego, Columbia and Yale. He plans to earn his Ph.D. in computer science and engineering, and ultimately hopes to become a professor. He also is focused on giving back—helping other homeless teens with outreach programs.
“I want to contribute to the community that helped me get through what could have been a severely depressing situation,” says Lopez. “I want to show fellow homeless teenagers that there is hope.”
Andrea King is proud to be the first in her family to earn a university degree. King’s parents always encouraged her to attend college, even though they couldn’t afford to pay for her studies. During her first year on campus, the pharmacological chemistry major worked two jobs to support herself, but realized that her full college experience was slipping by.
To help offset her financial need, King received support from the Joseph H. Lima, ’87 Scholarship, which supports students from immigrant families. With the extra time she had formerly spent working, King got involved with the Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance. She also volunteered with Alternative Breaks, which pairs students with service opportunities worldwide, and was able to travel to Guyana in South America during her spring break to help combat social justice issues including homelessness and accessibility to healthcare.
After graduation, King plans to take a year to decide between a career as a pharmacist, a pharmaceutical researcher or provider of clinical care. She has already received her pharmacy technician license from the State of California so that she can work in the field for the next year. “Some people take a year to relax, but I want to use that year to focus on what I want to do, and why,” says King.