San Diego State University
Recipient, William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement
Born in Torrance, California, Heather Gay entered the foster care system during her junior year in high school due to a lifetime of physical and mental abuse. That same month, her father committed suicide. Thanks to the guidance and support of various teachers, Heather persevered, attaining a high school diploma and then an associate’s degree in English with an emphasis in writing. Heather transferred to San Diego State University where she is now a junior with a double major in English and math. Her objective is to complete her bachelor’s degrees in 2010, obtain her teaching credential and become a high school teacher so that she can give her students the care, support and knowledge they need, just like her high school teachers did for her. Heather plans to eventually earn a Ph.D. and continue to mentor former foster youth, drug addicts and inner-city children.