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Victor Diaz

1705

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

Bio

Majoring in Economics and Legal Studies, with an interest of entering the financial industry and going into law school.

Education

University of California-Berkeley

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2027

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Economics
    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other
    • Business/Managerial Economics
    • Business Administration, Management and Operations
    • Legal Professions and Studies, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Financial Services

    • Dream career goals:

      Sports

      Soccer

      Varsity
      2019 – 20234 years

      Research

      • Housing and Human Environments

        Center for Cities + Schools — Youth Researcher
        2021 – 2023

      Future Interests

      Politics

      Volunteering

      Brotherhood Bows Scholarship
      When I was growing up in El Salvador, I had never crossed paths with diversity. I grew up around kids who were in a similar situation to mine; they spoke, ate, and lived the same way. My first school was like a small community, where we were all very close like a family. This all changed when I moved to the United States. For the first time in my life, I was placed in a room with kids who were very different from me, and who spoke a totally different language. I was in third grade when I first arrived in the United States from El Salvador. I felt nervous and didn’t want to go into the classroom. I didn’t know anybody or how to speak English. I realized instantly that I was the only Spanish speaker in the class, so I was afraid that people might look at me differently. Despite these fears, I learned a number of lessons that shaped the person who I am today. First off, I learned that it was really important for me to go out of my comfort zone. This was challenging at first, but if I didn’t shy away from uncomfortable situations or spaces, then I knew I could easily get used to it. Another lesson that I learned was that people are accepting of one another, no matter how different a person is. Because Oakland is a very diverse place, people didn’t judge me or looked at me any differently for being from another country. In fact, they often wanted to know more about the place I came from. This allowed me to be more like myself and not having to hide my true identity because of the fear of being judged. Lastly, what I considered my biggest challenge at the time, ended up being the most beneficial thing to me, the language barrier; not having another person that spoke Spanish, allowed me to surround myself only with people who spoke English, and this was the reason why I was able to learn the language so quickly. I am grateful for this change and hold a lot of gratitude for my mother. She sacrificed her own educational journey to give us a better life. I grew up with my grandmother for eight years, while my mom was working two full time jobs to provide for my brother and I. Both of their wishes have always been to graduate from college, as up to this date no one from our family has done so. Whenever I step foot into my college campus now, I always think about the sacrifices that my mother made. One of those sacrifices was her throwing away her educational aspirations to provide for us, and her second was when she returned to El Salvador to take my brother and me into the United States. My mother has always supported my educational journey. She is the one who helps financially and emotionally with my education. Oftentimes, I wish I could do more to help her because I noticed how fatigued she comes after cleaning three to four houses every week day. Whenever I have time, I go with her and help her clean a house and it makes me appreciate her work even more. Additionally, scholarships have helped tremendously so far. They are the reason why I am able to continue my education without expenses or financial worries. They have also helped my parents take a lot of weight off their shoulders and relocate expenses towards other important needs.
      Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
      Although I haven't necessarily experience depression, I have friends who did deal with it. I have seen how detrimental it can be to their goals, relationships, and understanding of the world. It gives them no motivation or reason to continue, and everything that they are doing seems repetitive, meanigless, with a void inside of them that continues to grow until they are filled with emptyness. I cannot speak on what that feeling is like, and even if I imagine what it could feel like it still wouldn't be enough. However, I have realized that my goals, relationships, and understanding of the world shape my mental health just as much. It is as if they are interconnected with each other. There clearly needs to be a balance, and as I have gotten older I have realized that my goals need to be ambitious but attainable. My relationships need to be strong but healthy to the point where I am communicating any issues, listening to their issues, and resolving the probles that arise. My understanding of the world needs to be open minded because I cannot limit myself to certain ideas that I believe in. It is important to see the world from different perspectives, as it helps your mind grow.
      Janean D. Watkins Overcoming Adversity Scholarship
      I could sit here and lie about what I’ll be doing ten years from now. It is nearly impossible to truly predict where someone would be in such a long period. Ten years ago, it would have never crossed my mind that today I would be living in the United States while starting my post-secondary education at one of the top public universities in the world. My plans and interests change by the minute; I am a very indecisive person. This is not a good trait to have, but it is something I’ve been trying to work on. Realistically, my only hope is that ten years from now I am doing well mentally, and that I am living a happy life. I want to be in a better place than where I am now. I am hoping that by then, I would have obtained any type of college degree. How do I plan on obtaining that? Effort, dedication, perseverance. Nothing in this world is obtained without any sacrifices. My mother taught me this at a very young age when she sacrificed her own education, leaving our home country of El Salvador and working two full-time jobs, then returning eight years later just to bring my brother and me to the United States. Thus I am hoping that in ten years all the sacrifices she made were worth it and that I make her proud. Even if I don’t achieve my ultimate goal of graduating from college and starting a professional career, I hope that the effort I made was sufficient. I hope that if I don’t reach my goal I have a valid reason for it and that it wasn’t just me giving up. Doing so would mean the disappointment of many people around me, like my family, friends, the college itself who believed in me and offered admission, counselors, teachers, and even myself. One big goal that I have is to start a nonprofit that helps people in my community. I want to create a college support system for young students who don’t meet the academic requirements but would like to continue into postsecondary education. Within the program, they would receive job and skills training, so that they could be well prepared when it comes to being placed into a job. I would like my nonprofit to provide young individuals with a number of jobs based on the skills that they provide, even hiring those who may be considered unskilled and teaching them something that they are interested in.
      Caminos de Éxito: The Jose Prado Scholarship
      Growing up in El Salvador, I had never crossed paths with diversity. I grew up around kids who were in a similar situation to mine; they spoke, ate, and lived the same way. My first school was like a small community, where we were all very close like a family. This all changed when I moved to the United States. For the first time in my life, I was placed in a room with kids who were very different from me, and who spoke a totally different language. However, I am grateful for this change and hold a lot of gratitude for my mother. She sacrificed her own educational journey to give us a better life in El Salvador. I grew up with my grandmother for eight years, while my mom was working two full-time jobs to provide for my brother and me. Both of their wishes have always been to graduate from college, as up to this date no one from our family has done so. Whenever I step foot on my college campus now, I always think about the sacrifices that my mother made. One of those sacrifices was her throwing away her educational aspirations to provide for us, and her second was when she returned to El Salvador to take my brother and me to the United States. Just like Jose Padro, my mother has always supported my educational journey. She is the one who supports me financially and emotionally with my education. Oftentimes, I wish I could do more to help her because I noticed how fatigued she feels after cleaning three to four houses every weekday. Whenever I have time, I go with her and help her clean a house and it makes me appreciate her work even more. Additionally, scholarships have helped tremendously so far. They are the reason why I am able to continue my education without expenses or financial worries. They have also helped my parents take a lot of weight off their shoulders and relocate expenses towards other important needs. Oftentimes, I think about one day establishing my own scholarship to return some of the help I received when I needed it the most. However, I would structure the scholarship differently; instead of making applicants write essays, I would hold multiple rounds of interviews to personally get to know the students, and I would look for students who view their education as a priority and privilege. For the students who were not chosen to receive the scholarship, I would give a consolation scholarship of a small amount between $50 and $200 for taking the time to apply. Education is the root of knowledge, and knowledge is powerful. Education is the key to many opportunities in the world. I think that education is a privilege because there are many people in this world, like my mother, who don’t have the opportunity to continue their journey either because they don’t have the funds to do so, or because they had to take care of other things, such as two sons.
      Act Locally Scholarship
      As of May 2022, the Oakland homeless population has increased to 5,055 civilians. In 2019, a total of 465 people were unhoused and under the age of 25 (The Oaklandside). Homelessness is one of the main issues that plague the Oakland community. We are seeing more and more youth out on the streets when they should be in school or working. However, many of these youth who are unhoused are not given equal access to resources to assist them in being successful. Lowering the homelessness rate and helping unhoused youth with resources is a change that I want to see in my community. In my Development of American Justice class, we worked on a project where we had to conduct research, survey teachers and students. The goal of the project was to come up with proposals to answer the question - How can we McKinney Vento provide more programs on Careers and Jobs for Unhoused Youth? For context, McKinney Vento is a federal law that provides funding to aid unhoused folks. After conduction our surveys and gathering 177 responses from students, we were able to conclude that students needed the most help with job interviews, work experience, and searching for a job. Young people also mentioned that they needed help with academic support, mental health support, financial and housing support. Based on these needs, we came up with proposals with the goal of aiding and addressing the needs of students who may be unhoused. One of the proposals my group and I came up with was a multi-purpose facility for all unhoused students. The facility would offer unhoused youths a safe environment, multiple resources and opportunities for the future. They would have access to transportation, tutors, counselors, medical assistance, food, clothes, college and career workshops, among other things. For funding, we were thinking of partnering up with nonprofit organizations or big companies who were be willing to provide funding for the facility. One of the companies we thought of was Salesforce, as they have already been engaged in aiding homeless people. In order to spread the idea of the multi-purpose facility, I got a change to speak at several meetings with the UC Berkeley Center for Cities + Schools. I spoke to policy makers, liaisons, and community organizers about our proposed idea. I am hoping to continue speaking to more people, being an advocate for this idea to be implemented so that it could benefit hundreds of youth. There's still a lot of work to be made, but a change of this caliber requires a lot of time and effort. It is important that a person looking for change does not lose hope or dedication in their fight to make a change.
      Francis “Slip” Madigan Scholarship
      I would like to attend college because it is one of the greatest goals I have in life. Not only do I want to make my parents proud, but I would like to take advantage of having the opportunity to get a better education, which some places don’t have. I would like to attend a 4-year college or university and earn a degree so that I have a better chance of starting a career that I truly enjoy and pays me good money, and from there I could begin my own life and become independent. The fear that if I don’t go to college, it would reduce the opportunities that I have, is what motivates me to do better in school. Additionally, my parents have always insisted that it is very important and a priority that I go to college and to graduate, they have pushed me to do better in school. I also think that going to college would be a great experience because I would have the opportunity to meet and connect with new people from different places and learn new things from them. It is one of the things that intrigues me the most about college. I’ve heard about how challenging and stressful college is, and part of me is scared listening to all those stories about college, but another part of me is excited and willing to take the challenge of college because I remind myself that all the good things in life won’t come easy and the more you challenge yourself, then the better the outcomes will be. All of these are some of the reasons why I would like to attend college, though I’m unsure of what I would like to major in; At the moment I’m leaning more towards the law field, but that could always change. Lastly, the other thing that motivates me to attend college is that I want to earn a degree so that I could have a good career to take care of my family. For many years, my parents had to work for long periods of time to make sure they were making enough money to provide for my brother and I; By attending college and graduating, I want to make sure that I make enough money so that I could return the favor by taking care of them and so that they never have to work ever again and still live a comfortable life with nothing to worry about. I plan to use the scholarship as a steppingstone towards my goal. I would like to spend the least amount of money possible in college to avoid debt, and not be in a financial burden when I get older. The money I earn will all go to a good cause, it would be used for only the most necessary items, because there could be an unfortunate event that could happen to a family, member and it will be important to have additional money to be able to take care of them. This is what motivates me the most, and it is why one of my most desired goals that I really want to achieve is going, and graduating from college. All in all, the three major reasons why I would like to attend college are for my personal goals, to achieve a higher education and get a high paying career; financial reasons, to be financially stable and not worry about money; lastly, to be able to provide and take care of my family.
      Pete and Consuelo Hernandez Memorial Scholarship
      When I first arrived in the U.S from El Salvador I was going to third grade. I was afraid, nervous and didn’t want to go into the classroom. I didn’t know anybody or how to speak English. I realized instantly that I was the only Spanish speaker in the class, and so I was afraid that people might look at me differently. Despite these fears, I learned a number of lessons that shaped the person who I am today. First off, I learned that it was really important for me to go out of my comfort zone. This was challenging at first, but if I didn’t shy away from uncomfortable situations or spaces, then I knew I could easily get used to it. Another thing that I learned was that people are accepting of one another, no matter how different a person is; considering that Oakland is a very diverse place, people didn’t judged me or looked at me any differently for coming from elsewhere, in fact they often wanted to know more about the place I came from, this allowed me to be more like myself and not having to hide my true identity because of the fear of being judged. Lastly, and what I considered my biggest challenge at the time, ended up being the most beneficial thing to me, the language barrier; not having another person that spoke Spanish, allowed me to surround myself only with people who spoke English, and this was the reason why I was able to learn the language so quickly. The lessons that I learned from this challenge became valuable when transitioning into high school, because it made me get involved in extracurriculars that I initially did not feel too comfortable in, which allowed me to network with different professionals, meet new people, build new skills, and continue growing as a student and person. An example of this was when I interned at a courthouse. I will admit that I felt somewhat uncomfortable walking in because I had been around the courts previously as an immigrant. However, I felt welcomed and appreciated throughout my internship and I was able to talk with clerks, lawyers, judges and other staff about the work they do. Additionally, I was able to witness several court hearings, trials, and overall, how the court operates. Throughout my four years of high school, I was involved in a number of leadership positions ranging from student government, to being a mentor. When I applied to be a mentor for elementary kids to build their literacy skills, I doubted if I was able to do it because it was something I hadn’t done before; yet the thought quickly came to me that I had already overcame and been able to do something much more difficult, in learning a new language. I ended up applying, and I had a great experience at the program, and was recognized as a standout mentor. The feeling of being able to contribute back to a community that offered me so many opportunities is indescribable, and I aspire to continue working towards creating a positive impact for myself and those around me. Thus, I’ve been constantly getting engaged with community service groups, nonprofit organizations, and volunteering groups. I believe that this persistent involvement all connects back to the lesson I learned at a young age of going outside of my comfort zone to make the most out of opportunities that come my way.
      Bold Science Matters Scholarship
      My favorite scientific discovery is the vaccine for COVID-19 because it is one that I had a chance to witness it being developed and discovered, and something that I lived through. Additionally, it is one which helped millions of people and possibly prevented the deaths of hundreds of others. It also makes me think about where we would be without this vaccine, how uncontrollably would COVID have gotten, and how much fear we would be living with. What I also like about the discovery is that it is one of the few discoveries that has a lot of controversy. Despite being encouraged by trusted scientists, some people refuse to people that the vaccine is reliable, which I feel like tends to happen with new discoveries and is the same reason why older discoveries don't have nearly as much controversy. Lastly, the main reason that it is my favorite discovery is because of how relatively quick it was developed, considering that the virus was a totally new concept to everyone.
      No You Did Not Win An Emi, But You Did Win This Scholarship
      I was originally named by my grandmother, who I grew up with for half of my childhood due to my parents being abroad, working to provide to us. The name, Victor, is one that I take pride in, and one that I am so honored to have. I feel much connection to it, as I consider to be myself a strong, competitive person, who always wants to win and be the best. That is what the name Victor means in its true definition, a winner. What I most love about this name is its uniqueness despite being quite common. In the way that it can push you to be the best version of yourself. Personally, I am a person who likes to go above and beyond, because not only do I want to live up to my name, but I also want to exceed it if possible. The way that I have been attempting to achieve such feat is by setting high standards for myself, expectations that could sound unreasonable, those that would make people stare at me like I am out of my mind. I believe that setting high standards is a win-win situation. On one side, if you fail to achieve such expectations, you aren't necessarily disappointed, that is if you were aware that they were high to begin with. On the other hand, if I am able to reach those expectations, I feel beyond proud, and the definition of my name, a winner. Additionally, creating standards that might seem unreasonable make me want to work even harder, put more effort, and make me feel more motivated. Whenever I do the bare minimum, it doesn't make me feel any extra joy, it just makes me feel like the average person, that I got done what I needed to get done. However, when I go above and beyond, that is when I get that feeling that I am a Victor. Furthermore, when you do more than you should've, or when your work is outstanding, you tend to get recognition. Whether it is in the form of a compliment, recognition, admiration, or simple stares in awe, those all make me feel like a winner, and is the reason why I strive to do my very best. Though, I am not saying that in order to be a Victor I need the validation from other people, that just adds extra feeling of satisfaction. Yet, there are certain people who also strive for these very same ideals, and I can't let others outperform me because they would be seizing my name.
      Femi Chebaís Scholarship
      My dream is to be able to go to college and graduate to earn my degree, in order to make both my family and I proud. I would like to achieve a well-paying career to provide and take care of them, so that they could leave comfortably for the rest of their lives. I want to return everything that they gave me growing up, and all the opportunities that came as a result of their effort.
      Jose "Sixto" Cubias Scholarship
      When I first arrived in the U.S from El Salvador I was going to third grade. I was afraid, nervous and didn’t want to go into the classroom. I didn’t know anybody or how to speak English. I realized instantly that I was the only Spanish speaker in the class, and so I was afraid that people might look at me differently. Despite these fears, I learned a number of lessons that shaped the person who I am today. First off, I learned that it was really important for me to go out of my comfort zone. This was challenging at first, but if I didn’t shy away from uncomfortable situations or spaces, then I knew I could easily get used to it. Another thing that I learned was that people are accepting of one another, no matter how different a person is; considering that Oakland is a very diverse place, people didn’t judged me or looked at me any differently for coming from elsewhere, in fact they often wanted to know more about the place I came from, this allowed me to be more like myself and not having to hide my true identity because of the fear of being judged. Lastly, and what I considered my biggest challenge at the time, ended up being the most beneficial thing to me, the language barrier - Not having another person that spoke Spanish, allowed me to surround myself only with people who spoke English, and this was the reason why I was able to learn the language so quickly. The lessons that I learned from this challenge became valuable when transitioning into high school, because it made me get involved in extracurriculars that I initially did not feel too comfortable in, which allowed me to network with different professionals, meet new people, build new skills, and continue growing as a student and person. An example of this was when I interned at the Courthouse, I would admit that I felt somewhat uncomfortable walking in because I had been around the courts previously as an immigrant. However, I felt welcomed and appreciated throughout my internship and I was able to talk with clerks, lawyers, judges and other staff about the work they do. Additionally, I was able to witness several court hearings, trials, and overall, how the court operates, which ultimately allowed me to grasp a further interest in the law field. Throughout my four years of high school, I was involved in a number of leadership positions ranging from student government, to being a mentor. When I applied to be a mentor for elementary kids to build their literacy skills, I doubted if I was able to do it because it was something I hadn’t done before; yet the thought quickly came to me that I had already overcome and been able to do something much more difficult, in learning a new language. I ended up applying, and I had a great experience at the program, and was recognized as a standout mentor. The feeling of being able to contribute back to a community that offered me so many opportunities is indescribable, and I aspire to continue working towards creating a positive impact for myself and those around me. Thus, I’ve been constantly getting engaged with community service groups, nonprofit organizations, and volunteering groups. I believe that this persistent involvement all connects back to the lesson I learned at a young age of going outside of my comfort zone to make the most out of opportunities that come my way.