A College of the Desert student, and aspiring engineer, was recently surprised with a full scholarship so she could achieve her dream of one day working for NASA.
Grecia Paola Siono Gutiérrez has attended the desert school for the last three years. She does not live in the Coachella Valley, but in Mexicali.
Every Sunday, Siono Gutiérrez crosses the border between Mexico and the United States to study at the desert school.
“On Thursdays, after my classes, I go back to Mexicali,” said Siono Gutiérrez.
The 22-year-old told News Channel 3/Telemundo 15's Marco Revuelta that she stays at a relative's house during the week.
But interestingly, she doesn't travel alone since her mom and brother also study at the desert school.
“My mom goes to English classes, my brother and I go to our electrical engineering classes, we eat together, we do homework together,” said Siono Gutiérrez.
Siono Gutiérrez says it has been a long and tiring three years of traveling from one place to another in order to achieve her educational dreams. But her work is paying off, in a few days she is going to receive her degree in physics and mathematics.
One of her many achievements at community college was creating a satellite with the support of NASA that flew over the Salton Sea.
“It did several medications on CO2 in pollution in different other parameters that we use to better understand our Salton Sea because it is very polluted,” Siono Gutiérrez said.
Siono Gutiérrez has been able to pay for her classes at COD with the help of scholarships. And now the worry of how to cover the classes in her next chapter at the University of California San Diego has been eased.
“I am going to study electrical engineering and I want to specialize in circuit design because I want to focus on designing robots for space,” Siono Gutiérrez said.
Siono Gutiérrez is one of 60 community college students across the country who were selected for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship for their educational endeavors. The award, which is last dollar funding after all institutional aid, can be as much as $55,000 a year.
"To be honest, I was very surprised. I applied, I honestly didn't expect to earn it when they gave me the news. Above all, my family was very happy because they saw all the effort I put into my education," Siono Gutiérrez said.
She says that now she will be able to stay at the university and will not have to travel like she does now. She added that being able to continue her studies without paying a penny is very exciting.
“This gives me a lot of calm and peace and more about my family that my mother has been my eldest, she supported me a lot, she crossed us and my brother and I to be able to come to the United States to study, so it does not bring much peace. this news,” Siono Gutiérrez said.
Siono Gutiérrez also told me that she is extremely grateful to everyone who has supported her.