Kimberely B. Suarez
California State University, Los Angeles
Recipient, William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement
Kimberely Suarez spent part of her childhood in social services, did time in juvenile hall and at age 13 dropped out of high school to join a gang in East Los Angeles. As a gang member, she witnessed the murders of friends and the suffering of their families. She found the courage to leave the gang, and in 2005 graduated cum laude from East Los Angeles College, where she made the President’s List and National Dean’s List. A mother of two, Kimberely is a graduate of CSU Los Angeles and is currently a nursing student there, a career choice inspired by the care she received when her first son was born. Kimberely works to encourage youth living in gang- and drug-infested neighborhoods to find a brighter future through education. She provides guidance to at-risk youth emerging from a “last-chance” high school program through Estrada Courts Community Center.