Bibiana Vega, a recent graduate and transfer student of San Jose City College, has not had an easy life, but she has met life’s challenges with optimism, determination, and hard work.
As a young immigrant who came to the United States at the age of nine, Bibiana was determined to learn the English language. She overcame tremendous obstacles to assimilate and excel in this new country she called home.
While attending San Jose City College, Bibiana juggled two jobs and served as a community volunteer for various programs serving youth. She also volunteered as an ESL/AB540 consultant for a UC Extension Teacher Program, where she helped para-educators understand how to work with undocumented/second language learners.
Through Bibiana’s efforts, she accomplished three Associate of Art degrees and transferred to the University of California, Santa Cruz where she is currently majoring in Sociology and is a recipient of the prestigious Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Award. As a Pister scholar, she is receiving a full scholarship award of $20,000, to cover the full cost of her education. Bibiana’s future goal is to become a teacher to help encourage students, who come from low-income families, achieve a higher education.
Without this scholarship from the Karl S. Pister Foundation at UC Santa Cruz, Bibiana believes that her goals would be much harder to achieve. Her hope is that she can set a good example for others desiring a higher education. She believes that hard work and sacrifice are the keys to accomplishing her dreams. Bibiana is a portrait of success through her own hard work, persistence, and determination.
Bibiana shares the philosophy of Malcolm X “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” As a dreamer and first generation student she is both empowered and humbled to be a college graduate and university student.