Danielle Baker is a junior majoring in Psychology who plans to graduate in May 2015. She transferred from Fresno City College with an AA degree in psychology and was on the Dean’s Honor Student List each semester. She has worked part-time at City College for the past three years in the Extending the Class program which provides student tutoring. Currently she is a Mentor in the program assisting other tutors to plan, develop and implement study sessions. She feels that the leadership skills she is developing and the interpersonal communication skills will be valuable tools to be successful in her career goal of becoming a clinical psychologist and teaching at the community college or university level. In her spare time she volunteers at The Cat House on the Kings where she socializes animals, assists in organizing fundraisers and promotes education to stop mistreatment and euthanization of cats and dogs.
Michelle Caballero is a nursing major who plans to graduate in December 2013. Her academic career has been interrupted by a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. As a cancer survivor she feels that her experience as a patient has provided valuable insights into caring for others, especially in the Oncology or Hospice fields. Her volunteer work includes mentoring incoming freshmen in the nursing program at the Nursing Resource Center. She is the mother of two daughters and volunteers in their classrooms and after school activities.
Mitchell Carrillo is enrolled in the Master’s program for Nursing and plans to graduate in May 2015. His undergraduate degree is in Physical Therapy and he started his own physical training business to pay for his education. After working as a physical therapy aide he developed a passion for nursing which brought him back to the Fresno State program. His community service includes working with the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association to provide free screenings, health promotions and education. He has also worked with PG&E to provide free instruction to warehouse workers on proper lifting techniques to avoid injury.
Gisela Mondragon is a graduate student in Counseling with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy who plans to graduate in December 2015. The daughter of migrant workers, Gisela had a difficult time keeping up with school work in elementary and high school although this made her more independent and goal oriented at a young age. At Fresno State she has been involved with migrant student support groups such as the Migrant Student Alliance Club. Her career goal is to become a therapist in order to help family members, especially migrant families, to communicate with each other and to encourage children to pursue higher education.
Rebecca Ortega is a student in the post baccalaureate Multi-Subject Credential Teaching program and hopes to graduate in December 2014. From a young age she was in foster care and became “emancipated” from the program at age sixteen. At age 21 and the mother of two children she decided to go back to school where she earned a degree in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling. After working in the Porterville Unified Preschool programs and becoming a Site Supervisor she decided to seek a certified credential to enhance her job opportunities. Now she is the mother of five children and is very involved in their schooling as well as attending school herself.
Savannah Singh, our first alternate awardee, will receive a scholarship in Spring 2014 semester after Michelle graduates in December. Savannah is a junior in Anthropology minoring in history and geology. She hopes to graduate in three years. During her first year at Fresno State she played the tuba in the Marching Band and is still involved in Tau Beta Sigma, a music sorority that promotes women in music. Back at home in Merced County she continues to help promote agriculture at events and fairs. Her interest in Anthropology is sparked by her desire to find out more about past cultures and their development to the present day.