Josephine Torres Awarded $20K UC Santa Cruz Pister Scholarshipby Rosie Zepeda on May 23, 2023
GILROY, CA – Gavilan graduate, Josephine Torres, a biology major, whose career goal is to help people by going into the medical field as a doctor, and who will be transferring to UC Santa Cruz in the Fall, has been awarded that institution’s prestigious Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Scholarship for 2023!
The Pister Scholarship was established in 1993 by former UCSC chancellor Karl S. Pister to increase opportunities for talented community college students who want to transfer to UCSC. The scholarship recognizes students who have overcome adverse socioeconomic circumstances, who have a demonstrated commitment to assisting and improving the lives of others, and who might not otherwise be able to attend UCSC for financial reasons.
Candidates are nominated by the presidents of each of the 13 regional community colleges. The nominations are reviewed by the Leadership Opportunity Awards Review Committee, and one student from each college is selected to receive up to $20,000 in award money ($10,000 awarded for two years).
Josephine Torres thoughtfully shared her experience at Gav:
“It wasn’t always easy balancing full-time school and part-time work, but I would not be here without my counselor Diana Gonzalez. She made me feel like I could go to her for everything. Also, the STEM Center and the instructors kept me motivated, even as my classes got harder. Gav is a beautiful campus, and I was very well supported for the two years I attended. I commuted here for every single in-person STEM class, so it felt like home.”
Dr. Pedro Avila, Gavilan’s Superintendent / President, who nominated Josephine stated:
“We are so proud of Josephine Torres, who is a first-generation college student that had to persevere in her academic pursuits with independence. Josephine has continued to contribute financially by working part-time to help her single mother with bills while enrolled full-time at Gavilan College.
Josephine’s supervisor at Nike, and her chemistry professor at Gavilan College, describe her as an individual with exceptional personal and professional qualities, which include her willingness to help others, as well as her strong communication skills and work ethic. Josephine has faced adversity and obstacles and handled them with strength and integrity, and for these reasons I chose her as the Pister Scholarship recipient.”