OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Four seniors at Leadership Public Schools’ Oakland campus will receive full-ride college scholarships for their academic prowess. Arely Jauregui Martinez, Jasai Martinez, Juan Lopez and Josue Jimenez-Lopez all had grade point averages above 4.0.
In addition to their stellar grades, all four students are bilingual and have completed more than 10 college courses.
Arely Martinez is headed to UC-Berkeley, where she plans to double-major in nutrition and child development. Arely has completed 10 college courses already and is committed to helping others.
“I knew it was important to stand out as a high achieving student in an area where adversity leads to unhealthy habits. Achieving more is important to me because I want to add a different face and different energy to being a ‘scholar,’” she said.
Jasai Martinez is the school’s valedictorian and has already earned four associate degrees from Laney College. His GPA is 4.72 and he will attend Harvard in the fall, where he plans to study computer science or computer engineering.
“I also have my four little siblings that look up to me, and I want them to always know that they should always believe in themselves and try their hardest to achieve their goals even if they’re difficult,” he said.
Juan Lopez is LPS’ salutatorian and has earned associate degrees in sociology and political science. After applying to 57 colleges, he opted to attend the University of Pennsylvania to study political science.
“Achieving more is important to me because of who I am and where I came from,” he said. “I am a low-income, first-generation, Latino student in Oakland. To some, they feel that people that come from similar backgrounds as me are not qualified to become someone or something in life. That who we are is what we will be and so being a part of the minority group has had one of the biggest impacts on my life as I try to prove everyone wrong and show them that I am capable of what these rich white folks get without having the exact resources and financial support from parents.”
Josue Jimenez-Lopez is a first-generation college student who will attend UC Davis in the fall. He completed 21 college courses while balancing a job, internships and AP coursework. His dream is to be a physician.
“I think the main thing that inspired me to achieve my goals is my parents,” said Josue Jimenez-Lopez. “I have seen both my parents work so hard in order for me and my siblings to get the best education and life possible and seeing them work hard made me want to work hard as well,” he said.