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I AM ONE DEGREE: Featured 2012 Graduates

Carlos Cortez
When Carlos’ mother, Elizabeth, migrated to the U.S. form El Salvador in 2003 she was certain that her children would go to college. This spring Carlos walked across the Greek Theater stage as an IDEAL Scholar with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from UC Berkeley. “I had to fight to prove I deserved an education,” said the Novato High School graduate.  This summer Carlos worked for Huckleberry Youth Center and intends to pursue his Master’s in Public Policy at San Francisco State.

Hannah Diaz
When a high school counselor told Hannah anything was possible, she  set her sights on the Ivy League.  Hannah graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Urban Studies and History.  “10,000 Degrees provided me with the  resources I needed and removed a huge financial burden.”  This summer she stayed in New York City and put her degree to work at CIVITAS, an environmental and urban planning organization. “My message to younger generations is: Work really hard.  Be honest with yourself and remember that determination will change your life.”

Cindy Ku
Cindy is busy.  She is busy making an impact on her community by organizing events like Educad@s Podemos which focuses on  providing resources, guidance and support to local students in Marin County.  This spring she graduated form College of Marin with an AA in Philosophy and will continue studying at San Francisco State.  “10,000 Degrees has provided essential resources, helped me financially, professionally and has given me the opportunity to network.  You have my deepest gratitude.”

Sarah Smock
Being away from her family was Sarah’s biggest struggle, but this spring it all paid off when she graduated from Michigan State as a double major in International Relations and Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy.  Sarah is currently living in Washington D.C. where she’s an intern for The American Legislative Exchange Council.  “I want to make a difference by promoting freedom and making sure everyone has a voice.”  10,000 Degrees scholarships helped her cover tuition and books and she plans to pay it forward by doing everything she can to change the world.

Jean Teadoro
“Education sparks creativity, builds confidence, creates dialogue, provides experience, and most importantly, fulfills purpose.”  Jean believes his purpose is to provide guidance to kids, so he plans to be an educator.  As a current student advisor for the 10,000 Degrees Institute, he continues to make a difference in his community by leading workshops on spoken word.  Following his 2012 keynote address at Dominican University, where he earned his BA in Humanities, we were honored to have him as our own featured speaker at the Summer Intensive closing ceremony.