2017 Scholarship Recipients
Jessica Vanessa Almaraz, 18, San Jose, Mother to Xavier, 3 months old
Vanessa strives for success, is passionate about her education, and always seeks opportunities to challenge herself. When Vanessa began attending Pegasus High School, she was behind in credits. She got a job on campus, joined Teen Success, Inc, and became a mother to Xavier. Despite the odds, she went on to graduate a semester early. She is excited about her successes and for what the future brings. Jessica Vanessa is going to Evergreen City College to study Nursing.
Guadalupe Garcia, 16, Fresno, Mother to Aaliyah, 5 months
Guadalupe grew up in an unstable home as the oldest of seven children. She wound up living in a group home for a time, but returned home to be a role model for her younger siblings. Shortly after, she learned she was pregnant. Guadalupe has overcome many challenges to be the inspiring mother, sister, and student she is today. She is motivated and hard-working, taking care of her daughter Aaliyah and her six siblings. Guadalupe will be attending Fresno City College and plans on studying psychology to become a counselor.
Anna Juarez, 17, Orosi, Mother to Aniayah, 2 years old
Anna lost her mother to cancer at a young age and, became an emancipated minor in 2016 in order to provide for herself and her daughter. She loves going to group every Tuesday and her Teen Success, Inc. group has become her family. Anna knows education is key to a brighter future and is looking forward to attending college Reedley College for Education Studies with the goal of becoming a teacher.
Gabriela Lucatero, 20, Orosi, Mother to Alfredo, 4 years old
Gabriela is a renewal scholarship recipient who was awarded her first Teen Success, Inc. Scholarship in 2015. Gabriella is currently attending College of the Sequoia to obtain her AA in Liberal Arts. In Fall 2017, she will be transferring to Fresno State University to study social work and is focused on her goal to become a social worker for foster children. Gabriella is now a co-facilitator of the Cutler-Orosi Teen Success, Inc. group, where she mentors and role models for other teen mothers.
Elice Ramirez-Solis, 17, Fresno, Mother to Daisy, 3 years
After giving birth to her daughter Daisy during freshman year of high school, Elice knew she wanted to give her daughter something she did not have, a safe and better life. While at Teen Success, Inc. she learned self-confidence and how to be the best mom possible. She became an empowered individual. Elice is attending Fresno City College for Education Studies. She plans on getting a Doctorate in Psychology and hopes to be an inspiring and motivating person for her daughter and all teen parents.
Monica Escobedo, 17, Antioch, Mother to Noah, 2 years old
Monica learned about Teen Success, Inc. while in foster care. She credits her Teen Success, Inc. group with teaching her parenting skills and discovering her own self-worth. After having her son, Noah, Monica focused on becoming the best mother she could be. She graduated from high school while providing for both of them herself. Monica hopes to become a social worker or behavioral therapist and wants to work with special needs and foster children. She will be attending Los Medanos College for General Education.
Aaliyah Haddox, 18, Fresno, Mother to Aeveah, 11 months
Aaliyah, from a young age, has endured an unstable home, the foster care system, and loss. Her experience has motivated her to be a role model for her daughter, Aeveah. Aaliyah strives with determination and dedication to succeed in life to give Aeveah all the love and attention she needs. Aaliyah’s goal is to become a lawyer and help other families who are going through difficult times like she did. She will be attending CSU Fresno to study Pre-Law.
Yessenia Lombera-Alonzo, 18, Redwood City, Mother to Giselle, 1.5 years old
Yessenia experienced great loss and lived in an unstable home, but she has persevered to overcome these hardships. Yessenia is an independent young mother who works hard every day to provide the best for her daughter, Giselle. She advocates for herself so she can attend school, Teen Success, Inc. group sessions, and take Giselle to her doctor’s appointments. Yessenia hopes to become a probation officer so she can mentor teens and help them have a bright and positive future. She will be attending Cañada College.
Keren Meza, 18, Fresno, Mother to Alisson, 5 months
Keren is the first in her family to graduate from high school and go on to college. She learned about Teen Success, Inc. through a friend when she first became pregnant and didn’t know what to do. Teen Success, Inc. gave Keren the confidence she needed to achieve her goals. Keren is a talented saxophone player and enjoys playing music for Alisson. She hopes to be a lawyer and has been taking after school classes at the CART school in Clovis to learn more about political science and law. Keren will be attending Sacramento State and studying Political Science.
Adrianna Sanchez, 17, Fresno, Mother to Jayden, 1 years old
Adrianna, who is also the child of a teen mother, grew up in a chaotic household and didn’t always receive the school support she needed. After her son Jayden was born, she realized how important her education was for both of them. Adrianna has worked hard to graduate from high school, seeking out the help of her teachers and Teen Success, Inc. advocates to help her accomplish her goals. She will be attending UEI College in the fall to become a Medical Assistant, and hopes one day to become a doctor.
2016 Scholarship Recipients
Elizabeth Espindola, 19, Redwood City
Mother to Anthony, three years old
Will attend the College of San Mateo
Elizabeth immigrated to the United States from Mexico at age 11. Her mother wanted her to have a better life. Upon entering the United States, Elizabeth had a hard time in school due to having to learn a new language. Once Elizabeth became a mother, she realized that education was important in order to provide for her son and to be a role model. She has a humble and generous spirit. Elizabeth plans to focus her college studies on Information Technology.
Brenda Lopez, 18, Orange Cove
Mother to Adriel, seven months old
Will attend Fresno State University
Brenda will graduate from high school this June and has been accepted to Fresno State University in the fall. She is driven and eager to learn. Brenda plans to double major in social work and business management which she hopes will give her the foundation to open her own nonprofit that provides sex education to young people from her own community. Brenda is an entrepreneur and earns money by selling baked goods and filming and editing videos for parties and events.
Evelyn Gonzalez, 18, San Jose
Mother to Matthew, two years old
Will attend San Jose City College
Through hard work and motivation, Evelyn has overcome a difficult past. She is a natural leader that has found strength from her experiences. Evelyn has many accomplishments including having been honored as “Student of the Year” at her school. She is an amazing mother to her son Matthew, a peer mentor with Fresh Lifelines for Youth, and a vital player on her school’s volleyball team. Evelyn is a proactive, motivated, and determined young woman who achieves everything she sets out to do. Evelyn will graduate from high school in June 2016 and plans to study business administration.
Marinarde Soto, 18, Fresno
Mother to Jordan, one year old
Will attend Fresno State University or Fresno City College
Marinarde will graduate from high school in June 2016. She is a go-getter and has maintained a GPA of 3.2 during her time in high school. She has been accepted into Fresno State University, but due to the financial cost, has not yet decided whether she will start immediately at the university or attend community college first. The TSI scholarship will help her accomplish her ultimate goal of obtaining a Masters Degree of Marriage and Family Therapy. Marinarde is compassionate, ambitious, and stands up for what she believes in.
Isabel Carlay, 16, Oakland
Mother to twins Nevaeh and Aubree, one year old
Will attend Merritt Community College
Isabel will graduate from high school this June, a year earlier than expected. Since becoming a mother, she has committed herself to her girls and to her education. Isabel is focused on reaching her short-term goal of obtaining a job as a medical assistant within the pediatrics department at Kaiser. Longer-term, she hopes to become a registered nurse. Isabel enjoys giving back to others and makes it habit to donate the clothes that her girls have outgrown to other teen moms.
Nancy Umana, 19, Orosi
Mother to Miguel, two years old
Currently attending College of the Sequoias
Nancy is TSI’s first-ever renewal scholarship recipient having been awarded a TSI Scholarship in 2014. Nancy is hardworking and dedicated to achieving her goals. She has spent the last two years working on her Associate Degree at College of the Sequoias and plans to transfer to Fresno State University within a year to study Administration of Justice. She is focused on her goal of becoming a California Highway Patrol Officer. As a peer leader of her TSI group, Nancy inspires the other members to pursue their dreams.
Karen Garcia, 18, Orosi
Mother to Aiden, 3 years old
Currently attending College of the Sequoias
During the time that Karen has participated in the TSI program, she has given birth to her son Aiden, graduated from high school, and began attending college. She is committed to making a brighter future for herself and her son; her hard work has been an example to the other members of her Teen Success group. During high school, Karen had the opportunity to complete a nursing assistant program, which solidified her goal of becoming a registered nurse. Karen plans to transfer to a four-year university to obtain her Bachelor of Science degree in Registered Nursing.
Cynthia Rodriguez, 18, Fresno
Mother to Eduardo, one year old
Will attend Fresno City College
Cynthia will graduate high school in June 2016. She has overcome many obstacles in her 18 years of life. She uses every hardship as motivation to prove to others that she can do anything she sets her mind to. She plans to study business so that she can become an entrepreneur. Currently, Cynthia interns with ABC 30 as she has an interest in media. She takes advantage of every opportunity put in front of her.
Isabel Lopez Menera, 19, San Jose
Mother to Elias, two years old
Attending De Anza Community College
Isabel graduated from high school in December and immediately began college classes in January 2016. She is motivated to become the best person she can be, and is proactive in seeking out opportunities for growth. Isabel plans to transfer after two years at De Anza and hopes to attend U.C. Santa Cruz to study child development. Isabel is a hard worker and balances motherhood, school, and Teen Success, Inc., along with her job working at a café.
2015 Scholarship Recipients
Maribel Bandu, 18, Dinuba
Mother to Eduardo, 2 years old
Following graduation in Spring of 2015, Maribel will enroll at Reedley College with the goal of receiving her nursing degree. She was an English Language Learner who has been dedicated to remaining in school despite her obstacles.
Carielena Cantu, 19, Fresno
Mother to twins Susana and Pilar, 2 years old
Carielena will graduate from high school this spring and will enroll at Fresno City College with plans to transfer to a four-year university. She has overcome many obstacles in her life and continues to pursue her dreams while raising her twin girls. .
Dalia Soto, 18, Woodlake
Mother to Brandon, one month old
Dalia will graduate from high school this spring and has been accepted into Fresno State University with plans to become a physician's assistant. She is an exceptional student who values education and giving back to her community. Dalia is the first in her family to graduate from high school.
Veronica De La Torre, 17, Fresno
Mother to Aubrianna, 2 years old
Veronica will graduate from high school this spring and enroll at Fresno City College with the goal of obtaining her teaching credential. She is a great student and enjoys tutoring her peers. Her daughter provides motivations to work hard for her dreams. Veronica has been a member of Teen Success, Inc. for two years.
Gabriella Lucatero, 20, Orosi
Mother to Alfredo, 2 years old
Gabriela will graduate from high school this spring and enroll at College of the Sequoias to work towards her nursing degree. She is supporting herself and her son while continuing to maintain her grades and never missing a Teen Success, Inc. group.
Cassandra Guizar, 17, San Jose
Mother to Juliana, 2 years old
Cassandra will graduate high school this spring and enroll at Evergreen Valley College to complete her general education. After receiving her AA degree she plans to transfer to San Jose State University to study criminology. Cassandra takes pride in beong a mother sees her challenges and obstacles as learning experiences.
Kassandra Perez, 19, San Jose
Mother to Eden, 2 years old
Kassandra graduated from high school in 2014 and currently attends Evergreen Community College. She plans to obtain her degree in nursing. She has participated in the Teen Success, Inc. program for three years and has been selected as a peer leader because of her positive mindset and fierce determination to reach her goals.
2014 Scholarship Recipients
2013 Scholarship Recipients