Welcome, 2020 Scholars!


Jun 2020


Berkeley Community Scholars is thrilled to welcome our incoming 2020 High Hopes Scholars. This year we accepted 26 Bachelor’s Degree High Hopes Scholars—6 of whom are transfer students from Berkeley City College—and 9 Community College High Hopes Scholars. While we cannot celebrate these students in person this year, we still want to honor their accomplishments and welcome them to the BCS community. We will also be hosting a Virtual Awards Ceremony in early July.

Bachelor’s Degree High Hopes Scholars

Batul A.

UC Berkeley

Batul is a 2018 CCHH Scholar and will be transferring to UC Berkeley, majoring in Ethnic Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, singing, and reading/watching political documentaries. Batul enjoys supporting, organizing, and working alongside her peers, which in turn has inspired her to one day become a clinical or college counselor.

Adam A.


Adam will be transferring from Berkeley City College to UCLA, majoring in Material Science and Engineering. In his spare time, he enjoys playing sports, particularly Basketball, and enjoys spoken word and poetry, as he considers this an “incredible form of expression and promoting critical thinking”. Adam is excited to explore careers in the field of Material Science, particularly careers in software engineering and computer coding.

Maria A.

San Francisco State University

Maria will be a pre-kinesiology major at San Francisco State. She is interested in exploring a career in physical therapy or in the field of medicine. She has a passion for community work and helping others and especially enjoyed tutoring and translating for English language learners at Berkeley High. Her other love is dancing. Maria was inspired to pursue higher education from watching her grandmother in Guatemala balance studying, working a job, and raising three children.

Mattiwos B.

UC Santa Cruz

Mattiwos will be attending UC Santa Cruz in the fall and majoring in computer engineering. Since middle school, Mattiwos has been fascinated by math and computer science, especially machine learning and penetration testing. At Berkeley High, he explored his interests through NSBE Jr., Biotech, and an internship at the US Dept. of Agriculture. He joined the Robotic and Hack Club where he built a personal website and developed online games with other club members.

Ciara B.

UC Irvine

Ciara is excited to attend UC Irvine this fall and will be studying criminal justice. She hopes to address injustices in the legal system by pursuing a career in law either as a public defender or as a defense attorney. Ciara devoted herself to the Bridge program while at Berkeley High School. She also challenged herself with multiple AP classes, volunteered at Berkeley Animal Care Services, and worked at Taco Bell to cover her expenses and save for college.

Muwazu C.

Mills College

Muwazu plans to study child development at Mills College this fall. Her experience volunteering at Washington Elementary last year solidified her aspirations to become an elementary school teacher. Throughout high school, Muwazu found a second home at the South Branch of the Berkeley library, where she volunteered as a teen librarian. In her spare time, Muwazu likes roller skating, singing jazz, and is learning to play the ukulele.

Daijah C.

UC Davis

Daijah will be studying political science on a pre-law track at UC Davis this fall. She plans to become a congresswoman in order to advocate and create legislation for communities of color. Daijah was the VP of the Associated Student Body at Berkeley High. She is also proud of her work with the Green Dot program, educating the student body about sexual assault prevention. She was also involved with Youth and Government, worked on the YMCA Teen Task Force, and sat on the board of the Youth Commission. 

Salaah D.

UC Berkeley

Salaah Deen will be studying international relations and economics at UC Berkeley in the fall. During high school, Salaah was the photographer for the Multicultural Student Association, was on the Berkeley International High School leadership team and was a process observer for the Muslim Student Association. Salaah also loves cooking for his family as a way to unwind.

Ella D.

Middlebury College

Ella Du will be heading to Vermont to study at Middlebury College. She has always been interested in STEM and medicine, especially neuroscience, but also plans to explore business and humanities majors. Ella loved her multi-year internship at Lawrence Hall of Science facilitating interactive activities for museum visitors. Her volunteer work for San Francisco’s Park Stewardship Program led her to create the Bay Area Clean Up Crew at Berkeley High.

Kyra D.


Kyra is a 2018 CCHH Scholar and will be transferring to UCLA, majoring in African American Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys going on nature walks, crafting new make-up looks on her friends, and spending time with loved ones. Kyra enjoys working and communicating with others and aspires to one day become a professor and/or own her own business while traveling around the world.

Abril F.

American University

Abril will study political science at American University this fall. In the future, she aims to fight for social justice as an immigration attorney. Abril already demonstrates impressive experience as an advocate through her work as CEO of Berkeley International High School leadership, a Green Dot Ambassador, a member of Latinos Unidos and Y Scholars. She learned the power of her voice on a trip to DC for the ACLU Advocacy Institute and through her position as Head Caucus in the Women’s March of Oakland.

Mario G.

Stanford University

Mario will be attending Stanford University this fall as a biochemistry major. He plans to explore careers in research and medicine. As a high school student, Mario presented his own research as a participant in the Children’s Hospital of Oakland’s Research Institute program. He was also the Berkeley International High School (IB) Senior Class President and led a workshop to help other underclassmen of color succeed in the IB program.

Paola G.

UC Santa Barbara

Paola is excited to attend UC Santa Barbara as a political science major and aspires to be a district attorney. During high school, Paola was a R.I.S.E. scholar, a volunteer translator for the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant and a member of the Chicano/Latino, Entre Mujeres, and Language and Cultural Exchange clubs.

Kaileea J.

Clark Atlanta University

Kaileaa Jefferson will be studying business and biology at Clark Atlanta University this fall. She enhanced her interest in science as a participant in the Biotech program and internship at Symic Bio, a bio-pharmaceutical company. Kaileea was also involved with Black Student Leadership, Black Girls Rise, Black Scholars, the Bridge program and competitive cheering  in high school all while running her own hair business, Kouture Krowns.

Milagro M.

UC San Diego

Milagro will be studying Political Science at UC San Diego this fall. She aspires to become an immigration attorney to protect and fight for the civil rights of immigrants and their families. Milagro dedicated herself to social justice and community service in high school by volunteering with organizations like Feed the Hood, the Berkeley Project, and the Dreamers Project, which created a safe space for undocumented students at Berkeley High.

Michael M.

CSU East Bay

Michael will be transferring from Berkeley City College to CSU East Bay, majoring in Communications. In his spare time, he enjoys riding his bike and hiking through Bay Area trails, as well as working on his YouTube channel to practice his communication skills. Michael aspires to work in a media profession that entails inner creativity and teamwork, particularly careers in advertising, marketing, or public relations.

Richard N.

San Francisco State University

Richard plans to study biology at San Francisco State and is planning a career in the health field. While at Berkeley High, Richard participated in the Biotech program and completed an internship where he studied the sugar tax in Berkeley, acquired cooking skills, and served nutritious food. He was also on the Mental Health Education team at Berkeley High and gave a presentation to students on mental health awareness and stress management.

Alani N.

UC Merced

Alani will be majoring in biological sciences at UC Merced this fall. Her internship at the Alameda County Public Health lab expanded her interest in medicine, laboratory work and in becoming an Ob/GYN. Alani was also on the Berkeley International High School Executive leadership team, was a member of Berkeley Black Scholars and the Multicultural Student Association, and taught underclassmen about sexual health as a SHIFT mentor.

Reemajah P.

UC Berkeley

Reemajah will attend UC Berkeley this fall and is considering majors in integrative biology, public health, and international relations. During high school, Reemajah worked towards promoting equity and eliminating racial discrimination on the NAACP Youth Council. He was a 4-year member of the Bridge program and participated in a cultural immersion/service program in the Dominican Republic through Global Glimpse.

Alexandra P.

San Jose State University

Alexandra will be studying social work at San Jose State and plans to be an academic counselor to help other underrepresented, first generation students navigate the educational system. Among Alexandra’s many extracurricular activities, she was a member of Bridge, Y Scholars, and EAOP. She was on the Executive Leadership team for the LatinX Unidos Club and a Green Dot Ambassador.

Alana R.

University of San Diego

Alana will be attending University of San Diego and is considering a major in communications with a concentration in media studies. She plans to work in media entertainment. Alana was a member of the Bridge and Y Scholar programs in high school. She was also a Green Dot Ambassador and a member of LatinX Unidos.

Emara S.

UC Davis

Emara is a 2017 CCHH Scholar and will be transferring to UC Davis, majoring in Environmental Science and Management. In her spare time, she enjoys painting and reading, particularly reading mystery and non-fiction, as well as books written by South Asian writers. Emara wishes to work for National Parks and non-profit organizations whose mission focuses on the restoration of the environment.

Jannya S.

San Diego State University

Jannya is a 2017 CCHH Scholar and will be transferring to San Diego State University, majoring in Business Administration. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and spending time in nature, listening to music and meditating, as well as watching documentaries and reading historical literature. Jannya aspires to one day establish her own non-profit organization, with the mission of uplifting the African American community through financial literacy programs.

Natalie W.

Wesleyan University

Natalie will be at Wesleyan this fall and is considering majors in sociology, film, and gender studies. Natalie plans fighting for social justice in whatever field she chooses. She has worked at Berkeley’s Juneteenth Festival and Black History Month celebrations throughout high school. She was Vice President in the Arts and Humanities Academy Leadership from freshman to senior year and class deputy for the Associated Student Body Leadership.

Community College High Hopes Scholars

Destiny A.

Berkeley City College

Destiny is currently attending BCC, majoring in Animation and Game Design. They are very passionate about digital art, animation, and video games. Their interest led them to attend free classes at the Academy of Arts during the summer in high school. Destiny hopes that one day they will be the head of a video game company to produce games that will give people like Destiny an escape from the real world when they need it.

Amani A.

Berkeley City College

Amani is currently majoring in Computer Science at BCC. Some of her hobbies include drawing at home and spending time with friends and family. She enjoys taking classes that push her to work as hard as she can which allows her to grow and become a better student. She hopes to one day be able to create games or animated films. Amani is looking forward to the years ahead and is excited to learn more about the world around her.

Daniel B.

Berkeley City College

Daniel is a prospective double major in Political Science and Sociology at BCC. He is fascinated with politics, as many social welfare programs and initiatives have come to shape his life. He was a part of several programs in high school including Y-Scholars, Youth and Government, and Teen Task Force. At BCC, he was able to intern for Berkeley City Councilmember, Rigel Robinson, and volunteer for ZAB Chair Shoshana O’Keefe where he learned a great deal about our local politics. He hopes one day to be able to give back to the community by working in a local non-profit, or by working in a state/federal agency creating solutions to growing social issues.

Antonio C.

Berkeley City College

Lucas Antonio Calderon Rivera is currently attending BCC and is undecided on his major, but most interested in Art. He hopes to obtain a degree in Art as well as to become a mechanic. He feels it would be cool to create art and sell his paintings or have art exhibits at various museums. He aspires to gain artistic skills through his learning and ultimately come out with original art pieces. His larger goals include traveling the world, meet people from different cultures, and leave a little piece of his work everywhere.

Tiffany C.

Berkeley City College

Tiffany Carson is attending BCC, majoring in Liberal Arts. Her goal is to graduate with an AA degree in Fall 2020 and transfer to UCB in Spring 2020 and major in Social Work. She aspires to become a social worker. Ultimately one day she wants to work with at-risk and immigrant youth. She is passionate about helping others especially immigrants who come to the United States knowing little to no English. In her personal time, she loves to dance, travel, take nature walks, and hang out with her friends.

Daniel K.

Berkeley City College

Daniel is currently majoring in Mechanical Engineering and also plans to become an EMT, as a personal goal. He is very immersed in hands-on technical applications like 3-D printing or soldering circuits. He has a strong emphasis on community and empowering teens to achieve their dreams. He does this through volunteer work as a coach for the Berkeley High Mountain Biking team and being the Chapter President for Rising Youth, a non-profit based in Fremont. He hopes to create a startup that develops and produces integrated technology to solve issues in our daily lives.

Shahmir S.

Berkeley City College

Shahmir Shaikh is attending BCC majoring in Computer Science. He plans to transfer to a 4-year institution by Fall 2021. His top choices today are UC Berkeley and UC Davis. He loves to play and watch sports during his free time as well as has a strong passion for cars. He aspires to be a smart and very humble person. He wants to own a couple of businesses in the near future along with real estate so he has some assets and passive income.

Nathan W.

Berkeley City College

Nathan is attending BCC and majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Electrical Engineering. He aspires to attend either UC Berkeley or the University of Pennsylvania. He has a great interest in building a career with an airplane manufacturer but is not yet sure about the specific job title he wants. Nathan hopes to promote growth and open-mindedness on his academic journey with his participation with the Berkeley Community Scholars program.

Zihao Y.

Berkeley City College

Zihao is currently attending BCC and majoring in Computer Science, with the hopes of transferring to a UC campus in the Fall of 2021. In his free time, he likes to play guitar. He is a dog person –  he likes to go to the animal shelter to spend time with animals. His expectation for his future is to work in a technology company.

Leave a comment