California State University, Monterey Bay
Recipient, William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement
Marcela Vargas is a freshman planning to major in collaborative health and human services. Along with her parents and three brothers, Marcela immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was 16 years old. She enrolled in high school in Salinas and began learning English. She earned a 3.5 GPA, graduated and set her sights on college. Her parents are her biggest supporters, enthusiastically encouraging her to be the first in their family to attend college. Even today, Marcela only sees her parents for half a year-during the growing season in Salinas-as they are migrant farm workers. Continuing her education, with the ultimate goal of becoming a nurse or nutritionist, is the driving factor in Marcela's life. Her studies are equipping her with the knowledge to enable her to support her parents as they grow older, and to help the community in her career as a health care professional.