Meet the 2011 Awardees
California State University, Monterey Bay
Arienne Arreola was two when she and her four siblings lost their mother to a brain aneurism during the birth of her younger brother and were abandoned by their father. The children were raised by strict farm-working grandparents who never attended school and did not believe it was worthwhile. At a young age, Arienne worked in the fields to help support her family.
In junior high, Arienne was the stereotypical troubled child who was suspended for fighting. She soon realized that she could change her attitude. She began to organize her life, work hard at school and stay positive. Arienne continued to help pay the family’s bills by working two jobs as a waitress and a high school cafeteria server.
Today, she is not only a first-generation college student at CSU Monterey Bay, but the lone high school graduate in her family. Arienne is majoring in biology with a concentration in premed and has a 3.50 GPA. She plans to become a surgeon to provide top-notch care to those in need.