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PATHS Scholars

The PATHS Program will be available to academically talented students who demonstrate an interest in the advancement of historically underrepresented populations in the sciences and related fields who have been accepted into STEM-related undergraduate programs at UC San Diego. The PATHS Program selects annual cohorts students to participate in the 4+ year round pilot program, receiving a comprehensive package of student support components to address financial, cultural and academic barriers.


Ideal PATHS Scholar candidates will:

  • Be admitted to a STEM major at UC San Diego as an incoming freshman
  • Demonstrate an interest in the advancement of historically underrepresented populations in the sciences and related fields
  • Students from underserved and underrepresented backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply
  • Demonstrate commitment to character, culture, and community
  • Must commit to living on campus for the first two years of the program

P1 Scholars

  • Naomi Abraham

    Naomi Abraham

    Naomi Abraham is a third year majoring in Biochemistry in the Division of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She has worked in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Burkart studying the synthesis of organic chemical compounds. Her research focuses on polyketide enzyme modification and how enzyme form impacts function. Polyketides are naturally produced organic molecules that have antimicrobial and immunosuppressive properties and are often employed in drug discovery research. Naomi is driven to medical research by a strong sense of humanitarianism and ethics and believes that through chemistry, she can help provide relief to those in need. She plans to pursue a doctorate in biochemistry working on discovering new drugs for diabetes and cancer. As a first-generation Eritrean-American as well as a first-generation college student, Naomi is dedicated to honoring those communities she came from by serving as their advocate in health care and improving their access to health care education. She currently serves as a College Ambassador for the Office of Admissions and Orientation Leader within John Muir College and intends to pursue more leadership roles while at UC San Diego. Naomi is passionate about civil liberties and international human rights and believes in health care accessibility and equity regardless of citizenship and socioeconomic status.
  • Martin Jesus Casas Maya

    Martin Jesus Casas Maya

    Martin Jesus Casas-Maya is a third-year majoring in General Biology and minoring in Education. He most recently served as a research assistant in Professor Rob Knight’s Biomedical Pediatrics laboratory. His research seeked to answer fundamental questions concerning the compositional evolution of biomolecules, genomes, and communities across ecosystems, including the complex microbiome of the human body. Martin has long been interested in the mysterious microbial community inhabiting our intestines and continues to be fascinated by its association with diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and even depression. He intends to pursue a medical degree, but is also highly interested in scientific research. In 2019, Martin participated in the Summer Training Academy for Research Success (STARS), a program geared to promote advancement of scholars from underrepresented backgrounds. As a DACA recipient from Mexico City and a first-generation student from a disadvantaged socioeconomic background, Martin has faced many struggles that have inspired him to be a positive influence for other students from disadvantaged backgrounds who aspire to a career in science.
  • Lizbeth Corona

    Lizbeth Corona

    Lizbeth Natalie Corona is a junior majoring in Human Biology. She has worked in the investigation of genetic causes and treatments for pediatric diseases in Dr. Joseph Gleeson’s laboratory at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Lizbeth has had the opportunity to help people around her and aspires to be part of the medical field to make an impact on disadvantaged communities who lack proper healthcare. As a first generation student and the oldest of five, Lizbeth is determined to be a role model to make sure everybody in her community understands that anything is possible in life. Lizbeth believes that reflecting on your unique background and past experiences will lead you to love and connect with the diverse community around you.
  • Tina Dang

    Tina Dang

    Tina Quynh Nhi Dang is a junior majoring in Cognitive Science and Behavioral Neuroscience. She is interested in research around mindfulness, mediation, and body awareness. Tina plans to pursue a Ph.D in Psychology with an emphasis on Behavioral Neuroscience and hopes to work and advocate for victims of violent crimes. As a first-generation student from an underrepresented community, she looks forward to serving as a mentor and advocate to the youth from the San Diego Community. She is a huge advocate for psychological and emotional well-being and is determined to normalize the conversations around mental health and strives to integrate the conversations within UCSD, PATHS, peers, family and in her community.
  • Cain Elizarraras

    Cain Elizarraras

    Caín Alexander Elizarraras Galván is a junior majoring in electrical engineering and minoring in photography. He is currently at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography working on an imagery-based project analyzing bio-adhesives that occur in organisms. Caín gained an interest in technology at a young age by shadowing his father while he worked on old radios and televisions on the patio. He intends to pursue a doctorate combining his two passions: electrical engineering and photography. Cain is interested in developing new image sensors for cameras. In 2019 and 2020, Caín joined the STARS graduate program, which offers valuable resources for students intent on graduate school. Caín faced much adversity being a first-generation Chicano college student from the low-income community of City Heights and so strives to advocate for and mentor students of similar backgrounds.
  • Nicholas Fisher

    Nicholas Fisher

    Nicholas Fisher is a third year in Muir College, majoring in Cognitive Science with a specialization in Neuroscience. Upon entering UC San Diego, he became very interested in using computational languages in understanding neurological processes. As part of the STARS Program in 2019, Nicholas worked in the research laboratory of Dr. Brad Voytek, using the computational language python to study patterns in brain activity across hundreds of electroencephalographs (EEGs). He intends to pursue a medical degree with a focus in endocrinology and myology. Nick grew up in the diverse community of Mira Mesa in San Diego. He was involved in Read Across America, an outreach opportunity where he provided a creative outlet for grade school students through reading. It was rewarding for him to see how excited and interested younger students become fun learning activities were implemented. He envisions a similar program, STEM Across America, for science and technology and hopes to make this initiative a reality. Nicholas highly values giving everyone the opportunity to engage creativity in the learning process.
  • Deka Ismail

    Deka Ismail

    Deka Ismail is a junior in Revelle college majoring in molecular biology with a minor in public health. She has worked in the research laboratory of Dr. Deidre Lyons at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. The Lyons laboratory focuses on how cell-cell adhesion dynamics during development influence patterns of cell differentiation in echinoderms (sea stars, sea urchins) and mollusks. She intends to pursue a doctorate in molecular biology studying cell-cell communication in the development of disorders like diabetes. In 2018, she received the Social Impact scholarship at the Third Annual Global Empowerment Summit: Time to Rise for her work with food equity in the San Diego Unified School District, ensuring public access to halal and vegetarian options. Deka was also highly involved with the National Conflict Resolution Center, through their Restorative Justices Practices program implemented on campuses across the SDUSD. As a first-generation college student Deka is passionate about using her education for advocacy work in her community of City Heights. She is a strong proponent of increasing diversity in and access to higher education, a space that has been historically inaccessible to low-income communities of color. 
  • Haniyeh Javaheri

    Haniyeh Javaheri

    Haniyeh Javaheri is a junior pursuing a degree in Human Biology and minoring in Middle East Studies at Thurgood Marshall College. She intends to attend medical school and pursue a career as a radiologist. In 2019, she earned experience of working with the laboratory of Dr. Antonio De Maio, within the surgery department of the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Her research explores cellular stress response through the kinetic analysis of heat shock protein (Hsp70) expression. Haniyeh also serves as a volunteer at the Scripps Mercy Hospital, shadowing a radiologist. She is interested in founding an organization for students with immigrant parents who are interested in pursuing medical school. She is currently a member of the International Health Collective (HIC) organization at UCSD to improve the efficiency, operation, and organization of the pharmacy during clinics; provide the community of Tijuana-Progreso with health and medication education (side effects, usage, recognition) on commonly prescribed drugs. Haniyeh emigrated with her mother from Afghanistan when she was nine years old so she could pursue the education denied to her as a woman. She lived in Turkey for seven years before coming to the United States, so she speaks fluent Persian, Turkish, and English and brings a cross-cultural understanding to campus. Haniyeh aspires to be an agent of change.
  • Ruby Rios

    Ruby Rios

    Ruby Rios Ramirez is a third-year Biochemistry student with a minor in Law and Society. She has been researching the electrodermal activity found under the skin under Dr. Coleman's Neural Activity Lab. She is hoping to pursue an M.D. Ph.D. and plans on doing research in neural and orthopedic trauma.
  • Jessica Sanchez

    Jessica Sanchez

    Jessica Sanchez is a third year majoring in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience. Jess is currently working in the behavioral neuroscience laboratory of Brenda Bloodgood.  Jess comes from Tijuana, Mexico and she was always aware of the inadequacy of academic opportunities at home. As a first-generation college student, she looks forward to giving back to the San Diego community and particularly to its underserved students whose hard work entices them to pursue careers in STEM. Jess was a PATHS ambassador in the Alternative Breaks Civic Engagement program that traveled to Washington D.C. to engage promising students in the world of policy and civil service. 

P2 Scholars

  • Yeabsira Atnafu

    Yeabsira Atnafu

    Yeabsira is a second year Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience major and a proud first-generation student. Yeabsira has lived with epilepsy, a neurological condition, since a young age, and this has propelled her to study neurology and its relation to perception and behavior. She feels compelled to address misconceptions of neurological diseases since the varying impacts of certain illnesses are often broadly misunderstood. By developing a better understanding of neurological conditions, as well as their distinction from other health conditions, she wants to help ameliorate the severe impacts caused by neurological conditions on the lives of those affected. Yeabsira is also passionate about expanding her vision on a global scale and collaborating across international lines. She wants to serve not only her community in San Diego but also communities across the world that need improved access to health care. Yeabsira is certain that the PATHS program is the first step to achieve her career aspirations. 
  • Jair I. Cortes Ocampo

    Jair I. Cortes Ocampo

    Jair Isai Cortes Ocampo is a first-generation Chicano student majoring in Environmental Engineering. He is currently working with the Southwest Fisheries Science Center (NMFS/NOAA) under five diverse scientists studying marine mammals and turtles, fisheries ecology, sustainable markets, and sonar and education. His passion for environmentalism is the building block of his imagination, stemming from experiences in the biosphere reserves of Mexico illuminated from rare biodiversity. Jair intends to pursue his interests in biomimetic-human-centered design where he can focus on supporting vulnerable ecosystems and coastal communities in underserved areas. In doing so, Jair plans on furthering science communication by sharing his experiences with students at ProKids The First Tee of San Diego, and Ocean Discovery Institute to inspire future scientists and designers. He hopes to connect and work with diverse cultures and communities to develop self-sustaining projects that reconnect people with nature in a new form.

  • Ruby Gamboa

    Ruby Gamboa

    Ruby Leigh Gamboa is a second year college student majoring in Mechanical Engineering at Muir college. Being a Mexican-American first generation college student, she plans to advocate for fellow underrepresented youth in STEM. Ruby served as president of the Green Engineering Occupations Academy at San Diego High School and has helped to provide a multitude of leadership and STEM centered field trips and internships to the academy's underclassmen. Ruby is currently a part of the Muir Volunteer program, STITCH, SWE, SHPE, and Muir Honors program. Her research interests include innovating single use items and fast fashion, as well as creating cleaner alternatives to implement in lower income communities. 

  • Arianna Girmai

    Arianna Girmai

    Arianna Girmai is majoring in Human Biology at Eleanor Roosevelt College. Arianna is a first-generation college student, as her mother encountered many hardships early in her life that precluded her from attending college. The challenges her mother faced inspired Arianna to attend college. Arianna is interested in pursuing a career as a pediatric surgeon; she loves the energy children radiate which is why she sees a future working with kids. She says, "They are a bit shy at first (who isn't), but once they begin to open up to you, you can build a beautiful relationship with them." While she is unsure in which branch of pediatric surgery she will specialize in, she knows her experiences at UC San Diego will help her decide. One of Arianna's long term goals is to extend her services at little to no cost because hospital bills can be overwhelmingly unaffordable. 

  • Kenton Guarian

    Kenton Guarian

    Kenton Guarian is a sophomore PATHS Scholar. He is joint-majoring in mathematics and computer science. His biggest goal is to see life livable, enjoyable, and/or productive for everyone who wants to live, enjoy life, and/or be productive. Kenton enjoys competition, learning immediately useful information, and earning a feeling that he's optimising the human experience for as many people as possible. Kenton recognises that a plethora of unavoidable barriers frivolously renders the general act of maintaining and enjoying their lives and acting productively as they see fit by completing the same structural tasks impossible for different people. He believes that this is unjust, and is predisposed to support anyone who is oppressed in this way and more. This is irrespective of the convenience of the entity which sets or maintains these barriers.

  • Mabel Munoz

    Mabel Munoz

    Mabel Muñoz is a second year Human Biology major. She intends to work towards medical school and become a physician. Mabel believes that increasing diversity in the healthcare and medical fields is precious and will help promote it throughout her career. She also intends to minor in Sociology to study the development of social structure and apply it to Human Biology. Moreover, she plans on joining volleyball, the student government, becoming a peer tutor, and many more activities on and off campus. Mabel is from both Baja California Sur, Mexico and the San Diego neighborhood of City Heights. Her background as a first-generation immigrant Mexican woman in STEM has inspired her to advocate for several of these same communities she rose from. Mabel will continue to serve these populations and communities on a personal level as well as in an educational capacity through her rise as a medical professional.
  • Salma Parra

    Salma Parra

    Salma Michelle Parra Pulgarin is a second year student double majoring in Public Health and Latin American Studies. She is currently working in Dr. Hemal H. Patel’s lab, specifically on model mice diabetes and membrane microdomains that are enriched in caveolin and regulate cardiovascular function and in exploring this relationship in ischemia-reperfusion injury and diabetic cardiomyopathy. Salma identifies as Mexican-American and was born and raised in San Diego. Having grown up in the low income community of City Heights, she observed how many detrimental diseases like heart disease and diabetes are common in minority households and how often they are passed down generation after generation. Because of this, Salma is planning on bridging her interests in socio cultural traditions and customs of Latin American countries with her love of public health to pursue a Ph.D in epidemiology and conduct research on why these diseases are so prevalent, and on how to efficiently tackle the problem.
  • Emi Sanchez

    Emi Sanchez

    Emi Sanchez is a second year Scholar majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Eleanor Roosevelt College. Emi grew up in Tijuana, Baja California where she undeniably witnessed the poor conditions of medical facilities and inadequate healthcare quality provided to underprivileged communities. Her pursuit for an M.D./Ph.D. stems from her desire to make standard healthcare widely available to everyone in addition to her spirit of service. She is currently working under the guidance of Dr. Kamil Godula whose lab focuses on the field of glycoscience, or function of sugar molecules. His research aims to gain an understanding of glycans, or carbohydrates, through the use of synthetic mucin mimetics in microarrays modeled to resemble the glycocalyx. Emi first gained an intellectual interest in glycans in a biology course at UC San Diego. She realized the superficiality, and sometimes ignorance, in the education system can, at times, inhibit students from becoming interested and invested in new passions. As a first-generation biracial college student, Emi strives to serve as an advocate of diversity and equity in the STEM field, especially among higher education institutions. Programs such as PATHS have allowed Emi to realize her potential in a university setting, giving her access to a range of opportunities such as mentorship and networking that are vital to a student’s success. 

  • Jasmine Stefanos

    Jasmine Stefanos

    Jasmine Stefanos is a second year, first-generation Eritrean-American majoring in Biochemistry. She fled Eritrea due to unsafe wartime conditions and came to the United States to provide a better life for themselves and their children. At a young age, Jasmine was exposed to science and it prompted her to pursue a STEM-related career path. Jasmine is interested in pursuing a career in pharmaceutical science or biochemistry research. She is particularly drawn to drug-discovery research for cancer and diabetes, disorders that impact the lives of millions of peoples, especially those within disadvantaged communities. Jasmine also hopes to head her own research laboratory and focus on making medication accessible and equitable. She believes that the PATHS Program will expose her to more opportunities to further her knowledge of medicine and research.  Jasmine loves giving back to the community and her goal is to be the change that she wants to see in STEM. She wants to be able to support her peers and steer them away from the discouragement that constantly seems to surround people of an underserved background. Jasmine hopes to be a role model to youth and future PATHS Scholars who don’t see scientists who look like them and remind them that minorities do belong in STEM and that they have so much to offer.
  • Sara Toumi

    Sara Toumi

    Sara Toumi is a second year Molecular and Cellular Biology major at Muir college. She minors in Bioethics to study moral practice within medical and biological research. She is a first-generation Moroccan-American and the eldest child of her family. Sara is passionate about the involvement of women of color in STEM and hopes to become an active researcher in genomic science. She has recently joined the Muir Volunteer Program Board as the Quarterly Co-Chair. She is from the San Diego neighborhood of Clairemont. Sara is looking forward to empowering other underrepresented students in her community who aspire to pursue a career in STEM. 

  • Mekdelawit Yitayih

    Mekdelawit Yitayih

    Mekdelawit Yitayih is a second year General Biology major at Muir College. Mekdelawit emigrated to the United States at the beginning of her first year of high school and it was one of the major changes that happened in her life. Adjustment to a completely different environment was a challenge at first but she made sure to remember her purpose for coming to the United States. She came here for the opportunity to obtain an excellent education so she can return to her country or origin and other medically underserved communities and help those communities obtain adequate access to medical treatment. Mekdelawit is here today to show that she is capable of doing anything as long as she continues to work hard. She plans on becoming an anesthesiologist and working in the global health field. As a first-generation student, Mekdelawit wants to be a role model for similar students who have a passion for science and humanitarianism so that they can work and support each other in their endeavors.  

P3 Scholars

  • Stephanie Barajas

    Stephanie Barajas

    Stephanie Barajas is a first-year chemical engineering major and first-generation student. Stephanie is interested in medicine and pharmaceuticals. With the knowledge she hopes to gain from studying chemical engineering, she aspires to attend medical school and specialize in neurosurgery or cardiothoracic surgery. Her aspirations of one day becoming an attending physician stems from the medical experiences she had with her grandparents. From numerous doctor’s appointments her grandparents had, Stephanie was able to get an in-depth look at the diverse professions in the medical field. Coming from a low-income and minority background, she noticed that many classmates were uninterested in pursuing a STEM-related career due to her high school’s lack of diverse programs and necessary tools needed to engage students. Stephanie plans to advocate for underrepresented youth in STEM so they can receive the necessary resources to make their aspirations a reality.

  • Jessica De La Torre

    Jessica De La Torre

    Jessica De La Torre is a first year student majoring in Mechanical Engineering at Warren College. She is interested in researching ways to increase accessibility on highly demanded products, such as automobiles, while reducing the environmental cost that such products have on environments and health. Her interest in mechanical engineering came from her community, South Gate, which has suffered from the impacts of excessive vehicles to the extent where the residents and their health have been compromised and lacks the resources to target the issue. Jessica aspires to attain her PhD in Mechanical Engineering in the future. As a first-generation Latina, Jessica hopes to encourage and support individuals from similar backgrounds in pursuing their interests. After college, she intends to return to South Gate and continue serving her community and increase awareness.
  • Melissa Güereca

    Melissa Güereca

    Melissa Güereca is a first-year student majoring in Biology with a Specialization in Bioinformatics. Her intent to pursue a career in STEM rises from her intrigue of the human phenomenon and her desire to overcome the current limitations of medicine. During her years as an undergraduate, she hopes to conduct research focused on the development of personalized healthcare. By merging the concept of computer algorithms and biology, she believes that these genetic codes will help shift medicine by instilling more preventative methods. After witnessing the impact of health inequities, she hopes that her contributions to the field of science will help reduce high rates of illness in underserved populations. Residing in the Bay Area as a daughter of Mexican parents, Melissa is excited to harness every opportunity presented, so that one day she can give back to the people and community that shaped her. 

  • Micaela Gwynn

    Micaela Gwynn

    Micaela Gwynn is a first year student majoring in Chemistry. They are planning on becoming a teacher after college in the hopes of making STEM more accessible to students who would not have had the opportunity to pursue them. Having grown up in a household and community with archaic views on gender and gender roles, they had been made to believe that science was not for them to learn and pursue. However, with the help of a few amazing teachers and mentors, Micaela came to see that what they had been told was wrong. Now, Micaela hopes to follow their curiosity and study chemistry in order to support all people who are trying to pursue a career in STEM.

  • Amari Henry

    Amari Henry

    Amari Henry is a proud, first year/first generation college student and an environmental engineering major. As an African American student, she wants to become quickly familiarized with UC San Diego by joining clubs and other recreational activities. Her passion in the STEM field is derived from her passion to find solutions for ocean pollution. She is interested in supporting other students like her, specifically her younger sister, to pursue STEM careers. Amari hopes to one day work as an independent, freelancer or in some other form of entrepreneurship.

  • Anasilvia Herrera Fuentes

    Anasilvia Herrera Fuentes

    Anasilvia Herrera Fuentes is a first year student at Revelle College majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology, with an intended minor in Chicanx Studies. As a Freshman, Anasilvia plans to gain as much exposure as she can from all of her professors, specifically in STEM, to feed her curiosity of biological systems. While pursuing her studies, she plans on dedicating her time to on-campus physiological research as a means to understanding human health and developing health-aids. Anasilvia is determined to attain a MD-PhD degree to weave research into her medical practices. She hopes to reveal underlying components through her eventual investigations to provide improved care - especially in underserved communities in Mexico and San Diego. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Anasilvia is passionate about giving back to her communities and delivering quality, holistic healthcare to those without equitable resources.
  • Henry Luu

    Henry Luu

    Henry Luu is excited to attend UCSD and study Data Science in Thurgood Marshall College. He was born and raised in San Bernardino, CA. Growing up in a largely first-generation, low-income community, he has personally seen the effects of systemic inequality and the effects of the asymmetric access to resources. PATHS provides an amazing opportunity for Henry to find the resources and guidance to help him build a strong foundation for future endeavors. He hopes that through Computer Science and Data Science, he can empower others in underserved areas to broaden their horizons, think critically, and challenge socioeconomic barriers they may face. He also identifies as he/him and as a Chinese - Vietnamese American. Henry hopes to learn more about the deep-rooted issues in society and initiate deeper conversations.
  • Mayra Mendiola

    Mayra Mendiola

    Mayra Mendiola is a first-year student majoring in Human Biology at Marshall College. She intends to pursue medical school and become a physician. Mayra was born and raised in Escondido, California and graduated with honors from Orange Glen High School. She is a first-generation, low-income college student and the daughter of Mexican immigrants who couldn’t finish primary school in order to help out their household. This fueled Mayra to set high standards for herself. She plans to seek more knowledge and opportunities to grow throughout her college journey, meanwhile, continuing to help out her community in any way that she can. She will advocate for a more diverse STEM field and an equitable health care system. Mayra hopes to be a form of encouragement for other students in underrepresented and underserved communities to strive for higher education.
  • Judy Mohamad

    Judy Mohamad

    Judy Mohamad is a first-generation college student majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Judy migrated to the United States at the age of ten due to the civil war in Syria. Growing up amidst the photochemical smog of urban development, Judy became passionate about pursuing renewable energy to curb the effects of rapid urbanization in developing countries. While in college, she plans to take part in engineering project teams and climate related research. Judy hopes to expand renewable energy through the development of solar energy batteries that allow for the complete reliance on solar power regardless of the time of day. Judy aspires to collaborate alongside leading engineers in renewable energy to develop an eco-friendly industrialized world.
  • Angelica Moreno

    Angelica Moreno

    Angelica Isabel Moreno is a freshman majoring in Biochemistry. Angelica is a proud first-generation college student thankful to have parents who worked to move to a country with better educational opportunities. She is passionate about addressing and fixing the disparities in healthcare as well as health education for disease prevention. Living in a minority community with little to no access to affordable or quality healthcare taught her how low income-of-color communities are greatly affected by this. Angelica plans to pursue a career in cardiothoracic surgery and working on streamlining early detection for heart related diseases. She plans on doing this by conducting research to make it easier to detect and providing resources to make it more accessible. Angelica hopes that with greater access to quality healthcare in impoverished communities, preventive medicine will become their primary care source and will reduce the need for palliative and curative care in the future!
  • Angie Santos

    Angie Santos

    Angie Santos is a first-year student majoring in Biochemistry at Muir College. She plans on pursuing a career in the medical field as a physician or medical researcher and hopes to specialize in neuroscience. Angie is inspired by the complexities of the human body and is eager to be an advocate for minorities in the medical field. She is a first-generation Latinx student, the first in her family to attend a four-year university, and the eldest child in her family. Angie is motivated by her parents’ pursuit of the American Dream as they both immigrated to America as teenagers with only a middle school education in pursuit of better opportunities. Having grown up in a primarily immigrant and minority community, Angie hopes that by accomplishing her own American Dream, she will inspire future generations of underrepresented students in STEM to pursue their own educational goals.
  • Angel Sarabia

    Angel Sarabia

    Angel Sarabia is a first generation/first year student majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Imperial Beach, California. Angel plans to further his education by obtaining a masters and possibly a PhD to conduct research on infectious diseases. As Angel progressed through high school, he delved deeper into Biology and AP Biology. This class paired with an amazing teacher helped put Angel on the path towards studying what he is most interested in. Angel identifies as biracial - Filipino and Mexican - and has witnessed one too many injustices that people of color face day to day. Angel hopes that his chance at a college education will one day allow him to pay it forward in a multitude of ways; ranging from creating a diverse STEM field to breaking away at the systematic oppression that people like him face.

  • Alberto Valencia

    Alberto Valencia

    Alberto Valencia is a first year/first-generation college student majoring in Computer Science and its mathematical application. He has a passion for helping others and hopes to serve socioeconomically disadvantaged communities by providing educational resources to students excited to pursue STEM. He wants children to dive into their curiosity and experience the joy of creation. Low-income areas often lack the resources to expose students to early education in STEM; he has sadly witnessed it since elementary school. Throughout high school, he has undertaken many programming projects and classes to experience the joy of learning, and most importantly, creating. Alberto will earn a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics-Computer Science to further his programming skill in hopes of transmitting his passion for Computer Science to underserved communities. Alberto is passionate about serving his community and hopes to bridge the connection between STEM and service to others using the support and access to resources PATHS provides.
  • Chao-Li (Michael) Wei

    Chao-Li (Michael) Wei

    Chao-Li Wei is a freshman majoring in Mathematics-Computer Science at Eleanor Roosevelt College. After making the high school robotics team his junior year, Chao-Li discovered his passion for programming, and built the best Autonomous program in the First Tech Challenge regional competition in Southern California, helping his team to advance to the World Competition. Chao-Li did not know about STEM when he emigrated to the United States at the beginning of high school. He decided to help the unrepresented population to discover their passion for STEM like himself. Chao-Li has had a great interest in Math since he was young, which motivated him to pursue a career in machine learning. He looks forward to building his programming and machine learning skills at UCSD and eventually collaborating to create an AI software product that applies to the world indiscriminately.

  • Celine Yang

    Celine Yang

    Celine Yang is a first-year student majoring in General Biology at Revelle College and plans to attend medical school upon completion of her Masters degree. As a first-generation Hmong-American college student, she is overjoyed to be granted membership into the PATHS Program which will facilitate in achieving her aspirations. At UC San Diego, she intends to participate in biomedical research, and aspires to become a traveling physician to provide adequate healthcare to underdeveloped and disadvantaged communities domestically and abroad. Her aspiration largely stems from learning about her parents’ home country, Laos, and the poverty-stricken living conditions they used to live in, which many Laotian people continue to live in today. As a member of an underrepresented community, she hopes to encourage Hmong students in successive years to pursue a career in STEM fields to increase diversity in the field and inspire generations to come.