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Michelangelo Dominguez


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At the intersection of my academic, creative, intellectual, and professional goals is a common thread - my commitment to community service and engagement, both locally and globally. Putting my knowledge and unique skill-set to work for the benefit of the greater good has been an ongoing endeavor throughout my high school career - most notably in my 10-year-long journey that has encompassed becoming a highly-decorated Eagle Scout, a seasoned student of Astrophysics, and an internationally-accomplished Bassoonist. I bring this same drive to the UC Berkeley Astronomy Scholars Program, where my hands-on approach to problem-solving and leading by example will help bring out in my fellow classmates an exemplary dedication to academic achievement. While studying Astrophysics at Berkeley, I will make the most out of opportunities at the #1 public university in the world to become an advocate for a better future for all of humanity. Through community service, I have come to believe that by serving the greater world we can overcome a self-centered focus on individualism that is leading to a lack of interest in others. And I have learned that the key to becoming a Berkeley Change-maker is unlocking the compassion of the human soul that will keep us from losing ourselves to self-serving activities and short-sighted priorities. Whether I am running a Scout meeting, leading my peers in astronomical research, collaborating on musical endeavors, or volunteering with kids, service to my family, friends, classmates, and my community forms the basis of who I am today.


University of California-Berkeley

Bachelor's degree program
2020 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Minors:
    • Music

University of California-Berkeley

Bachelor's degree program
2020 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Astrophysics
  • Minors:
    • Music Performance, General


  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Theoretical Astrophysics

    • Dream career goals:

      Post-Doctoral Researcher and Scientist

    • Marketing Intern

      Resource Employment Solutions
      2019 – 20201 year


    Mixed Martial Arts

    2012 – Present12 years


    • Junior Black Belt


    2009 – 20123 years


    • Championship Trophy


    • International Relations and Affairs

      Center for International Studies — Research Intern
      2017 – 2020
    • Astronomy and Astrophysics, Other

      Foundation for Astronomical Research and Observatory Underwriting Trust (FAR-OUT) — Undergraduate Researcher
      2019 – Present


    • Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra (FSYO)

      ASTA National Championship, Orlando Ballet's The Nutcracker, 4-city Summer Tour of China
      2013 – 2020
    • DPHS Panther Marching Band

      My Spanish Heart, Angels & Demons, Sweet Dreams, Legends Never Die, Thanksgiving Day Parade, Disney Main Street Parade
      2017 – 2020
    • DPHS Wind Ensemble

      MPA State Championship, All-State, All-County, Nine Star Honor Band
      2017 – 2020

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Boy Scouts of America — Eagle Scout Project Manager
      2014 – 2015
    • Advocacy

      Latino Leadership — Fundraising Event Volunteer
      2017 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Santiago & Friends Family Center for Autism — Summer Camp Volunteer
      2017 – 2020

    Future Interests





    Art of Giving Scholarship
    I live in Orlando, Florida and I am going to attend the University of California, Berkeley in the fall. My out-of-state tuition is so expensive that any amount of money would help tremendously. My father recently lost his job and my mother is a stay-at-home mom that homeschools my little brother. My life at home is a mess right now. Earning a scholarship like this would give such an impact in my life that words cannot even begin to describe how helpful this would be. I have given my heart and soul into my community my entire life and have asked nothing in return, but now I ask the community to please help me out just this once. I am majoring in Astrophysics with a Music minor and I want to earn my PhD for Astrophysics. That is at least another decade of school! My tuition is over $80,000 per school year, so for 10 years of college, that would be over $800,000! In conclusion, earning any scholarship money would be a blessing to my family. Thank you for your time!
    WiseGeek Life Isn’t Easy Scholarship
    When I became an Eagle Scout, I took an oath to follow the Scout Law which helps shape the morality of my character: “A Scout is loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent”. But the path to becoming an Eagle Scout is not an easy or straight-forward one, and for me in particular, it was filled with a myriad of challenges. From the time I first joined Scouts when I was 10 years old, I has already set for myself the goal of becoming the youngest Hispanic Eagle Scout in history. That challenge would require taking on an intensive schedule of difficult achievements that would need to be completed before I turned 13 years old, but I was determined to not let anything stop me. As you can imagine, my actual experience did not go as planned, and I faced a long string of setbacks. At the age of eleven, another 16-year-old scout decided to bully me by shoving me into a bathroom. I put my hand out to try to stop him from locking me in, and that's when the heavy metal door shut on my right thumb and almost completely severed it. On the way to the hospital, as my dad sped me to the emergency room, I thought about all the things I use my thumb for: writing in school; playing my bassoon; and I would certainly need it for all of the merit badges I had signed up for at scout summer camp which was only two weeks away. After getting dozens of stitches to sew my thumb back on, I was told that it had to be in a cast for at least 6 months; I was devastated. A week after the incident, I pulled myself together, mustered all the bravery I had in me, and decided on taking the risk of going to scout summer camp anyhow, where I would do my best to complete my merit badges. The adult leaders tried to convince me not to go, and the merit badge teachers told me to drop out because I would not be able to finish the badges, especially metalworking. I convinced the scout leaders that I could still do it, by working twice as hard. It was no easy task to work with an anvil, heavy hammers, and a 500-degree forge with only one hand. After everyone finished their projects and went to have fun, I spent all afternoon at the furnace, forging ahead. By the end of the week, I had completed all my merit badges. After enduring and overcoming that setback, I hoped that my path to Eagle would be much smoother once I recovered and began to work on my Eagle Project – building a clinic for bilingual autistic kids that did not have access to funding. After filling out dozens of grants to raise almost twenty thousand dollars, we built out an empty shell space, and I put in hundreds of service hours with a group of 20 volunteers to completely outfit it with furniture and fixtures for the therapy rooms, but that is when the unthinkable happened. The morning before the Santiago and Friends Family Center for Autism was scheduled to have its grand opening, I got a call that the sewer backed up and flooded the entire space. It took us a whole day to salvage what was left of the furniture, and we ended up having to replace all of the warped wood flooring over the next two weeks. After a month delay, the autism center was ready to open once again, and thanks to my determination to overcome all of the challenges, the center is now thriving and has expanded with the addition of two more clinics that service several hundred autistic children in the Central Florida area. At the end of my journey to earning my Eagle Scout rank, I was still able to complete all of the requirements in record time. And even though I was awarded several national awards, including Eagle Scout Project of the Year, my greatest reward was the many lessons learned from this experience. Knowing the importance of determination and perseverance has better prepared me for the setbacks that are often a part of accomplishing anything meaningful. That is why I continue to make it my mission to help others and contribute to society in any way I can through community service. I have gained a new perspective on a very concerning social issue affecting our youth today: a self-centered focus on individualism that is leading to a lack of compassion and interest in others. Through community service in Scouting, I have come to believe that by serving the greater world, we can overcome this and any other social issue. And I have learned that the key to becoming a change-maker is unlocking the compassion of the human soul that will keep us from losing ourselves to self-serving activities and short-sighted priorities.