Christopher Ornelas

​California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
TELACU Scholar

I want to use my education to enable a push towards the limits of architecture and how it may help the environment.

Christopher Ornelas never imagined he would have the opportunity to pursue higher education. His parents worked tirelessly from sunrise to sunset as farmworkers in Ventura County to provide for their family, while Christopher was tasked with helping raise his younger siblings.

Nevertheless, he enrolled in community college, where he successfully balanced his time helping his family, attending classes and tutoring middle school students in mathematics, science, English and history. Today, he is a third-year architecture student at Cal Poly Pomona, with a minor in urban planning. He continues to be a positive influence on children who lack access to educational tools and resources vital to success. Academic priorities fill most of Christopher’s time, but he plans to resume tutoring soon.

Christopher aspires to earn a master’s degree in urban design and start his own ​architectural firm.