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Making Dreams a Reality

Image: Chancellors Associates Scholars

Photos by Alethea Go/UC San Diego Publications

The first day of college could feel a little daunting, but at a welcome reception for the UC San Diego Chancellor’s Associates Scholars, the mood was pure joy and celebration—complete with selfies with Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla.

Campus leaders, faculty and staff came together in Matthews Quad on the first day of classes to welcome more than 100 incoming Chancellor’s Associates Scholars, bringing the total number of scholars on campus to 215. The Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship Program was created by Khosla in 2013 to improve the pathway for qualified students from all backgrounds to achieve a higher education at UC San Diego. When paired with the UC Blue + Gold Opportunity Plan, the program essentially provides a full scholarship for eligible students.

Image: Chancellors Associates Scholars

Students in attendance mingled and laughed together, discussing everything from their classes and residence halls, to the challenges they overcame to get to UC San Diego. They also shared their future goals, which included teaching, practicing law and becoming a dentist.

“We are here to provide you with a world-class education and wide range of opportunities so you can achieve your goals and dreams,” said Chancellor Khosla. “I want you to know that you are part of a special Triton community—a family.”

Chancellor Khosla also told students that there is a community of supporters at UC San Diego ready to help them through their academic journey. He then initiated a new tradition for Chancellor’s Associates Scholars—a “pinning” ceremony. Each student received a Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program-branded pin, signifying the unity of the students as scholars and their formal induction into the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars community.

Luis Perez, ’19, a Lincoln High School graduate and incoming Chancellor’s Associates Scholar, always hoped to attend UC San Diego.

Image: Chancellors Associates Scholars

“UC San Diego has always been my dream school. But this scholarship made it a reality,” said Perez, a marine biology major. “Now, I don’t have to put such a huge burden on my parents or work long hours to pay for college. This scholarship is helping me reach my dreams.”

At its inception, the program included eligible students from Lincoln High School, Gompers Preparatory Academy and The Preuss School UCSD. It has since been expanded to include eligible students from San Diego City College, Southwestern College and Imperial Valley College, as well as from Reality Changers, a local program that helps youth from underserved communities become the first in their families to attend college.

Image: Chancellors Associates Scholars

Most recently, the program was expanded again to provide more students from underserved communities with the opportunity to attend UC San Diego, including California students enrolled in federally recognized tribes and select students statewide due to their strong academic achievement and high financial need.

This year, a total of 215 students are benefiting from the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars program, which is made possible with funding from Chancellor’s Associates, a loyal network of UC San Diego friends, alumni and parents who make an annual investment of $2,500 each. The pool of funds gives the Chancellor the flexibility to respond to the university’s most urgent needs and critical priorities—including ensuring access and accessibility to UC San Diego for deserving students.

To learn more about becoming a Chancellor’s Associate, click here.