South Bay student receives TheDream.US scholarship

Chris Nguyen Image
ByChris Nguyen KGO logo
Friday, June 19, 2015
South Bay student receives Dream.US scholarship
Gerardo Espinoza has been open about his life as an undocumented immigrant. He is a recent recipient of a TheDream.US scholarship, which helps undocumented young immigrants attend college.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced they were making a $5 million donation to TheDream.US, a scholarship fund that helps undocumented young immigrants attend college.

Evergreen Valley College is home to four of the scholarship recipients.

One of them is Gerardo Espinoza, who has been open about his life as undocumented immigrant.

"After high school, it was time to start working and providing for my family, I didn't have another income to pay for school," explained Espinoza.

College would have to wait. But a side job moving office equipment at Facebook led to a major change.

"I saw all the ideas that they were discussing there, I saw the diversity that they have there," said Espinoza.

Espinoza would enroll at Evergreen Valley College with the goal of studying computer science.

Now, two years later and he's off to UC Santa Cruz in the fall, with a $25,000 scholarship from TheDream.US organization.

"The first person I told was my mom, she was there, and it was an emotional moment for us. She gave me her blessing, and told me that I was going to do great things," shared Espinoza.

Evergreen Valley College Vice President Irma Archuleta has made it her mission to provide educational opportunities to all students, regardless of their status.

"They have such resilience, and they have such motivation, and determination to do well, to succeed, for themselves, but more importantly, for their families," said Archuleta.

Espinoza hopes it leads to a chance to one day give back to Silicon Valley.

"We have a lot of young talent here in our community, and we need that young talent to go to UC's and to go to state school," said Espinoza.