Scholar Success

The Making Hope Happen Foundation supports the mission of the San Bernardino City Unified School District. Together, the District and the Foundation are committed to equipping local graduates for success in college an beyond. With the help and support for the community, many scholars were able to kick start their academic career and relish in their opportunities at their choice of college!

Cassandra Diaz from UC Riverside

“College has been the complete opposite of what I expected. I expected to be running wild because I had no rules. Ironically enough, I have become a more independent, responsible, and sensible young woman. I know where hard work comes from and because of that I take nothing for granted. My schedules are rough, but manageable, if that makes sense. I’ve never felt more tired, yet alive in my almost 19 years of life. College has been a place where I got to express myself; to meet new people and create the unforgettable memories I have. I didn’t think going to lectures and discussions would bring me the much joy it did, and I am thankful for the opportunity of attending UCR. Living in a diverse place, eating diverse food, and taking diverse classes would’ve never been possible without the foundation giving me hope. Hope has been the motto I go by and I got to say it’s working. I have successfully finished the first quarter of my new life. I have made my mother proud and I have become an inspiration for my siblings. My college experience so far has been full of HOPE, so

thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”

Keana Mitchel from San Bernardino Valley College

“So far, my college experience has been a great one. I have met many people and learned many new things. The Making Hope Happen Foundation has been a huge part of the start of my success. I plan to continue to succeed in everything that I do despite the obstacles that I may meet. College has showed me that you can do anything you want as long as you put your mind to it. I appreciate and thank the Making Hope Happen Foundation for all the great help!”

Andy Nguyen from UCLA

“The biggest lesson that I’ve learned through my transition to UCLA has been to not be afraid to reach out for help. The professors here will not hold your hand and reach out to you. It is totally up to me to go seek out the help I need and take advantage of various programs that will benefit me. Also, the quarter system is no joke. I learned to never fall behind in work and studying. I didn’t expect to love UCLA so much. I’ve made so many amazing friends here and experienced so much in just one quarter. UCLA was difficult, but I loved every second of it. Being at UCLA has taught me responsibility, perseverance and leadership skills. I am finally taking classes that interest me and I’ve learned so much in my classes. I actually can’t wait to go back to school next quarter.”

Kassandra Castro from UC Irvine

“Being a first generation college student and coming from a low income household, I knew that financial assistance was a necessity if I wanted to pursue a higher education. Being a recipient of the Heroes for Hope Scholarship is something that has made my college experience easier since it has helped me reduce financial concerns and allows me to put more time and focus on my academics. I have not stressed about loans and my family has not felt a financial burden by having me attend university. Having the opportunity to fulfill my academic goals in UC Irvine was something I could only dream of before, but now this dream is a reality and it has been in part thanks to the Making Hope Happen Foundation.”

Cassandra Carillo from UC Riverside

“My college experience has been great so far as I have learned a lot about myself. I have met a lot of people with the same interests as me and I have actually made friends with many who also want to become a teacher. I knew college was going to be different, but it is nice to actually be experiencing it myself.”

Millie Hernandez from UC Berkeley

“I love college. I love learning about new people and backgrounds but it’s hard to relate because Hispanics are barely 12% of the campus.  Transitioning was tough but I continue to push myself to do better so I can return home soon and help my community there! I am interning with Raices, which is a program focused on Latinx communities and a lot of community engagement.”

Pamela Cardenas from UC Santa Barbara 

“My name is Pamela Cardenas I’m currently attending UCSB. College has been an amazing experience and I am extremely thankful that the scholarship I received has allowed me to live these experiences. I am grateful for the help you have all provided me with. Thank you! ”

Angelica Avilez from San Bernardino Valley College 

“What I look forward to on my new educational journey is experiencing the college curriculum. I also look forward to achieving many things I didn’t think I could achieve before. Lastly, I’m looking forward to seeing how drastically my life is going to change with my career.”

Tania Lima from CSU San Bernardino

“Being in college has taught me a lot about myself. I strive to graduate in 5 years with my credentials but overall I would like to meet new people, challenge myself and of course learn new things about myself.”

Fabiola Gomez from UC Riverside

“The transition from high school to college has been one of the toughest things I have ever been through. It’s sad to say that I was not 100% prepared for college. But with the help of my mom and friends, I’ve managed to finish my first quarter strong. Although college may be difficult right now, I know that in the end, it’ll all be worth it.”

Benjamin Montelongo from San Bernardino Valley College

“I am Benjamin Montelongo, a student at San Bernardino Valley College. In my short time at Valley College I have been able to work towards and/or accomplish a number of projects which have been able to assist the larger community. I currently am maintaining a 4.0 GPA and with the Making Hope Happen Foundation’s help I feel like I can continue to thrive!”

Zohal Hafizi from San Bernardino Valley College

“So far college is not what I have expected, but I’m getting used to it. The scholarship really helped me with my academic experience. The fact that my mentor also really tries to help me with her advice makes me feel comfortable with new challenges and experiences. I appreciate everything you guys did for me. Thank you so much!”

Francisca Elizarraraz from UC Riverside

“Receiving this scholarship has impacted my life in so many ways. It helped me financially and it boosted my confidence. Receiving this scholarship also allowed me to pursue my goals in secondary education. If it was not for this scholarship I would not have been able to attend the university of my choice.”

Cindy Hernandez from University of Redlands

“The Making Hope Happen Foundation has made me ecstatic for what’s to come. I am very excited to see what’s in store for the future, and with the help of your scholarship, I was able to fully pay for my first semester of college at the University of Redlands.

For a long portion of my senior year at San Gorgonio High School, I was scared. I had chosen to attend a prestigious but expensive private school, and due to financial circumstances, I thought I would have to take a year off of school in order to save money for tuition costs. When I applied and became a recipient of the Making Hope Happen Scholarship, my dream of becoming a teacher in the San Bernardino County Unified School District was 3 steps closer. Not only was I able to afford my first semester, but I also received helpful mentoring along the way in preparation of the changes to come. Because of the tremendous help I received as part of this foundation, I ended my first semester with 17 units and a 3.86 GPA.”

Anay Soriano from CSU San Bernardino

“I am thankful for the opportunity from the Making Hope Happen foundation and its distinguished donors. This scholarship greatly supports my education. This scholarship opens many doors towards my education, I don’t have to worry about not having sufficient funds to support myself which has made my overall achievement possible. Thanks to the scholarship that I received, I will be able to take all my classes to graduate on time and have the rewarding experience to study abroad in Spain to gain more skills that will positively impact my career. I hope that you continue helping future college students because it definitely helps take away the burden of paying for college. Thank you again for investing, supporting, and motivating my education. It will help me have the strength to be successful in my career.”

Jenifer Sanchez from CSU San Bernardino

“Throughout my college experience, I have learned so many things and have made friends that are in the same shoes like me – low income, first generation. I can Identify myself with my friends that I made in college because we strive for a career and have a future profession.

The Making Hope Happen Foundation has helped me in many ways from school expenses to personal expenses. Going to college is paying books, tuition, transportation, food, and school supplies. College can be really expensive for a low-income student as well first generation student. And having the privilege of the Making Hope Happen Scholarship has helped me pay those college expenses. Not only has it helped financially, but also by providing me with a mentor that guides me through college. I’m grateful for the opportunity that was given to me. I hope that Making Hope Happen Foundation can grow and keep helping others students like they have helped me. Thank you for the donors that have made possible for the Making Hope Happen Foundation that have helped me and others students.”

Kimberly Mejia from Cal Poly Pomona

“Thanks to the donors of Making Hope Happen Foundation, I walked into college without an insecurity of paying for my tuition or books that I need in order to have a successful future. I attend Cal Poly Pomona and I will graduate at the age of 20 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work. My college experience had a rough start, due to losing a close family member, but I did not let my GPA down. My first year here has been a roller coaster, but I can assure you, the investment that was made toward my education will be worth it. I will become a donor in the future to this foundation because I know it will make a difference.”