Celeste Morales
Celeste Morales

​California State University, ​East Bay
Chancellor Timothy P. White Scholar

I learned that I have a passion to strengthen the community in which I have grown up and I can do so through parks and recreation.

Celeste Morales, a first-generation college student, grew up in poverty, where the simple goal of survival overshadowed everything else. From enrolling at a community college to transitioning into a four-year academic institution, she has pushed through many obstacles with few resources.

Today, Celeste is a senior at Cal State East Bay, majoring in recreation management with a concentration in youth programming development. Despite a learning disability, Celeste has earned a well-deserved spot on the dean’s list. Her work in parks and recreation has lifted her to leadership positions in the development of community events and youth programs targeting underserved populations. She hosted the first Antioch Youth Employment Fair to provide a pathway to success for young people within her community—all while maintaining a 3.80 GPA.

After graduation, Celeste plans to pursue a master’s degree in environmental recreation management and work for the National Park Service, providing opportunities for inner-city youth and Latinx communities to explore ​the national parks.