For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Luis Mendoza

1385

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

Bio

I live with a heart of passion and drive for my parents, heritage, friends, education, those who no longer can, and for me. An aspiring lawyer with ambitious dreams to form equality, diversity, and inclusion in our justice system. I view "what-ifs" with two different lenses. One TAKE RISKS because wondering what could have happened forms unneeded regret. Two think outside the sphere of normalization allows my insightful questions of curiosity to lead me to become an entrepreneur for propositions and inventions of tomorrow. Coming to America was a significant risk for my loved ones, and the number of stigmatized stereotypes placed on them by "Americans" motivates me to change their blinding lens. My mission is in play for completion through my advocacy, event planning, pursuing higher education, and remembering to acknowledge the "what-ifs" in my life.

Education

Claremont McKenna College

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Minors:
    • Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication

James Sprunt Community College

Associate's degree program
2017 - 2021
  • Majors:
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other

Duplin Early College High School

High School
2017 - 2021

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Law Practice

    • Dream career goals:

      Immigration Attorney

    • Community Development Project Law Clerk Intern: In charge with daily project translation for trainings and clinics; review contracts and permits to ensure LA County Compliance; assist lawyers in translation for their clients

      Public Counsel
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Vice-President of Claremont McKenna College Chapter

      QuestBridge
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Senator and a Diversity and Inclusion Committee Member

      ASCMC: Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Social Programing Board: Make events that will invite first-generation students to form a community with one another.

      1GEN at Claremont McKenna College
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Social Events Coordinator: Provided social events that were tailored to make a community for Latinx students attending a predominantly white institution.

      Mi Gente at Claremont McKenna College
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Co-President: Provide constant information about economic and political news, volunteering opportunities, fundraisers, and social events for students to discuss updates and personal information they found concerning immigration and refugee communities.

      Mgrublian Center for Human Rights: TIRR Task Force for Immigration and Refugee Rights
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Supervisor: Stocking incoming products; cashing people out; guiding employees; cleaning; opening; closing; financing; moving products

      La Norteña Market
      2018 – Present6 years
    • Manager: Attend customers for dining-in/take-out; helping the kitchen with meals, preparations; I'm in charge of the register, cleaning, opening, and closing.

      Loco's Mexican Grill
      2016 – Present8 years

    Sports

    Volleyball

    Intramural
    2019 – Present5 years

    Awards

    • Top 10 in Grass and Indoor as Team Captain & Top 5 in Sand as Co-Captain

    Soccer

    Intramural
    2016 – 20215 years

    Awards

    • First Place: Angel Soccer Club Wallace Cup Championship
    • First Place: Warsaw Recrational Tournament
    • First Place: Soccer Lighting Tournamnet

    Research

    • Law and Policy

      Public Counsel — Researched specific policies and laws around commercial tenants rent control and in-home daycare fire permits in the Los Angeles Area
      2022 – Present

    Arts

    • Claremont McKenna College: Mi Gente and 1GEN

      Graphic Art
      2021 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Family-Oriented — Tutor for my siblings and students in Warsaw, NC; gave advice regarding high school, higher education, scholarships, and organizations that helped low-income and first-generation students; home-cooked meals or take out from my workplace
      2016 – Present
    • Public Service (Politics)

      Mock Trial CMC — Director of Recruitment and Social Media
      2021 – Present
    • Advocacy

      Religious: Social Media — Reading the Bible to look up questions; Providing helpful tips on spiritual growth; Posting Videos; Responding to religious questions; 200 followers.
      2019 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Soccer ( Intramural & Competitive) — Plan drills for practice and games; attentive to players' needs (body and mentality); assure that members have coach-ability and improve performance.
      2016 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Beta Club — Sign-up to lead volunteer projects (Trunk and Treat/Community Egg Hunt); propose fundraisers (Yanke Candle/Krispy Kreme); compete for Beta Convention
      2014 – 2021

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Entrepreneurship

    WCEJ Thornton Foundation Low-Income Scholarship
    WOW, clouds hold a more profound beauty when seeing them up close! I never imagined myself on a plane, and the reasoning goes further than my childhood fear of heights—the answer lies in my predetermined future. Growing up, my preferred store was never Target, Toys R Us, or even the esteemed Walmart; it was always Neighbors 4 Neighbors Foundation, my local thrift store. As a child, nothing brought me genuine happiness than turning around and waking my mom by reminding her of our weekly Saturday date with the clothes, toys, and candy vending machines hidden behind the see-through thrift store door. However, because I was aware of the bad deck of cards handed to my family and me, entering high school meant fewer visits to my version of the Disney or Build-A-Bear Store. My mother's life lesson that las oportunidades son escasos como tú, así que tómalas y sé libre will always be engraved in my mind and heart. My mission to turn our bad deck of cards into a royal flush using scare opportunities started in 8th grade. While students were talking about their summer plans and their fears and hopes for their high school experience, I was preparing for my interview and planning my application for the early college program in my district. I remember my confidence being low because my older brother applied and was not accepted, and I pictured him as the perfect contender for the school. However, before I knew it, I had begun my freshman year at Duplin Early College. Completing the program took many all-nighters, tears, and Jubilee YouTube videos. Being selected and giving my senior class speech meant everything to me because the words spoken were for my parents and all other students and parents from mixed-status and low-income households. While saving my family and me $8,000 by earning my high school diploma and associate's degree at 17 years of age was a huge step toward my goal, it is not my greatest achievement to date—That would be joining the nonprofit that is QuestBridge. The process of applying to become a QuestBridge Scholar was an unforgettable experience because of the feelings I felt while crafting my essays and application. Before growing the confidence to inform my friends and teachers that I would apply, I remember the countless negative thoughts rushing into my infested imposter syndrome mind. Even though I was the right candidate because of my grades and school and community involvement, I still viewed myself as the unqualified teen who had to work two jobs to help his parents and sacrifice his mental health for another A. I considered my story as one filled with sorrow and endless struggle. However, writing my 800-word essay showed me the complete opposite. Yes, my life is not one filled with connections to opportunities or financial stability, but on those nights of wishing for a better life, there was a young boy with a fighting soul. That young boy is a Mexican-American, low-income student who decided to show others and himself that he can make it out of this cycle of misfortune. The next thing I knew, decisions came out. Before I clicked the link to find out my results, I took some time for some self-reflection. I knew that the student who submitted an application to the QuestBridge National Match Scholarship was not the same person he was three months back. I finally became unblinded and found the confidence and uniqueness in my story, and luckily, the selection committee did too. In addition, I realized that I am more than my application. When flying from North Carolina to Claremont McKenna College in California and seeing the clouds, I knew I was getting close to the royal flush I desperately wanted for my family and me. I knew that I wanted to pay tribute to QuestBridge, so I worked hard during my first year as the Communication Chair of my college QuestBridge chapter. Then, my ideas and advocacy to provide more on-campus resources for first-generation low-income students got me selected to serve as the upcoming Vice-President. I want to help create a future where students can know that socioeconomics does not define their future. To develop such tomorrow, I plan to partner with my early college to help create a database filled with scholarships, organizations, and student internship opportunities for all students because more families need royal flushes. These students' dreams must also be freed because their stories come with admirable grit and resilience.
    JuJu Foundation Scholarship
    Every night was the same; I would lie in bed next to my older brother, waiting to hear my father's voice. "Can I speak to them, cariño," he said while holding the door nob to our room. "YES, after so long, another story." "Maybe another time, they have to wake up early tomorrow for school, and you have work in a couple of hours as well," she replies. I could no longer hold on to another "maybe," I rushed out of bed and open the door. "Papa, I'm awake!" Inspiration acts like a sugar high, but its lasting effect differentiates it. My father is my role model, but what drives me is his stories about the lessons taught by my greatest inspiration in life, Jesus Christ. I've believed leadership was about rulership, but through the parable about the workers in the vineyard, I learned that it's about serving others. Becoming a member of the Student Government Association was my mission; however, my ambition elected me into class representative. With compassion, I approached fellow students, asking them a simple yet meaningful question, "Anything I could do for you today?" Answers placed me in positions as a tutor, counselor, and trusting friend. In reality, leadership causes small acts of kindness to result in immense outcomes. I have had my fair share of demons in my life; what shocks others most is that some of them were those who share my blood. My manner of uncontrollable actions like walking and speaking formed a predetermined idea of the type of young teen I was in their eyes; they also never missed the opportunity to take shots at my body image. Teases and rumors caused me to be confused about who I was for years, causing emotional and mental pain. The inner thoughts made me feel unworthy of the love and ultimate sacrifice Jesus fulfilled. One day while hearing one of my father's stories, I learned that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made in God's eyes. Hearing and believing in those words allowed me to walk confidently in the eyes of my enemies. Also, amid the story, the act of forgiving others arose. I became heavily motivated to perform such action; I knew that I was not doing this for the sake of being right or wrong. The reason for being the first one to offer a hand of forgiveness was to live a life of freedom with no disabling chains of unforgiveness on me. Opening my mind to the countless stories has made me the applicant before you today. As a kid, I believed that all the "bedtime stories" were fairytales narrated by my father, but now I know that they were life lessons bestowed upon me to face my trials and tribulations. I've found my ultimate sugar high, one that causes the continuous flow of inspiration. Every night I reach for my childhood book, famously known as the Bible, and proceed to knock on my father's door, "You ready for another story!"
    Abran Arreola Latinx Scholarship
    Welcome to the new and improved soccer community. I invite you to stay awhile and listen to how our community came to be; trust me, it was a process! Timer counting down. The single sound I hear is the deep breathing coming from across the field; I located my target and kicked. The silence was intense than I heard it: GooooaaaAAAALLLL! I was startled at the sound of people from different walks of life coming together to chant, but that's the beauty of the soccer community. At eleven years of age, I saw the true power passion held; soccer was not just a sport: it was the pillar for diversity. My team (The Mocking-Jays) created long-lasting memories through the sport, like volunteering at our local schools to enrich the younger generation's desire for physical activity and unity. A single spark of passion enlightened in children's eyes was sufficient to fulfill my goal of being a young leader. Two years past and our peak of achievements came to a close. When approaching the soccer field, our eyes became fixated on the printed paper- "Soccer for twelve and Under Only!" A single piece of paper separated us from our once picture-perfect community. I agree that an individual should feel sorrow, but I knew it wasn't the time to stay down. What people saw as a loss I perceived as an opportunity. Let's make a soccer field where age isn't a determinant, I insisted. At first, the idea sounded irrational, but my curiosity tends to transport me into another galaxy, where foolishness is accepted and encouraged; I mean, the wise man knows himself to be a fool. We know that plans are easier said than done. My first impulse was to walk around my town (Warsaw) to search for a WOW factor hidden in a forest of possibilities. Then a light-bulb lit up, I remember! Located two minutes from my house stood a semi touched portion of land. I would hear past stories of unforgettable competitions and gatherings that took place on the deserted land. I informed the Mocking-Jays of my findings, and we asked the present owner to transform the area into a communal soccer field. Unfortunately, the response was no. I explained to my companions that rejection is traditional and also an obstacle to overcome as a team. We didn't waste time; we searched for community members with the same motives and beliefs. We created a presentation that included our plan, estimated costs, and future outlook on the project. After the long and excruciating convincing process, the owner gave in. Operation Goal-for-Warsaw was in motion. Reflecting on the previous courses and research embedded in our minds, we began measuring the land acres and studying the fertilization of the ground. The renovation included cleaning, gardening, budgeting, and blueprinting. After months of hard work, our vision of the perfect community was coming together. The field was finally open, and the location gained popularity from students, adults, and soccer leagues. The project provided business for street vendors, the opportunity for selling delicious cuisine exposed the town to all different Hispanic cultures. As a team, we thought back to how we started, which lead to us opening the field to friendly competitions. We awarded and recognized soccer leagues throughout Duplin County. I learned that the unpredictable is not something to fear. I never knew that one team's loss would be a community, town, and county gain. I no longer push away from my aspirations and goals; I've learned to manage and defeat the problems head-on. The pillar was rebuild, and then I heard it: GooooaaaAAAALLLL!