Couple wins prestigious undergraduate scholarships


Aldo Garcia was in love -- so three years ago, at age 17 he left Mexico, alone, to follow his girlfriend whose family had just moved to California.

"I can take care of myself, I do laundry, I know how to cook," he said.

This is not your typical love story. Both Garcia and Violeta Crow-Juarez left Mexico for two reasons -- a better life and a better education.

"Since I was like 3 years old I told my father, Oh I want to go to a university in the U.S. They are the most amazing," Crow-Juarez said.

So they finished high school in Redwood City and are just about to complete a two-year degree at Cañada College. They are both majoring in computer engineering.

"We take all the same classes and when we do our homework, if one doesn't understand something, the other can explain it," Crow-Juarez said.

They both have a 4.0 grade point average; Garcia is this year's valedictorian.

Now they are transferring to a four-year college. They've already been accepted to several universities.

"So far UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Clara University, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo," Garcia said.

And they are waiting to hear from some of the private ones.

"MIT, Stanford, Cornell and Brown," Crow-Juarez said.

This is all possible thanks to the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

"It's very prestigious. It's the richest scholarship in the nation for community college students, very prestigious. You could only nominate two students a year. The fact that we nominated two students and won both of them is tremendous," college spokesperson Robert Hood said.

And only 50 students from across the nation end up getting one of these scholarships. The recipients are awarded up to $30,000 a year to finish college.

They've also agreed to attend the same university, regardless of who gets in and who doesn't.

"We'll go to Berkeley," Crow-Juarez said.

Both say they will stay in the U.S. even after reaching their goals.

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