UC San Diego News Center


Fiesta de las Estrellas Celebrates ‘Star’ Scholars at UC San Diego

Annual event has raised more than $1 million to date to benefit outstanding students

Marcela Alvarez

The UC San Diego Hispanic Scholarship Council will host its 16th annual Fiesta de las Estrellas April 25 to raise scholarship funds for outstanding students, with an opportunity for donors to meet the students whose lives will be transformed by their gift. Translated “Celebration of the Stars,” the event will honor 17 “star” UC San Diego scholarship recipients. Since Fiesta was established, the event has raised more than $1 million to help ensure that talented and motivated students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to acquire a world-class education at UC San Diego.

“We appreciate the generosity of our sponsors and friends who are helping to ensure that all outstanding, deserving students have access to a UC San Diego education,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “We also applaud our talented students who will be recognized as part of this special annual event. They are the visionaries and innovators of tomorrow.”

This year, all new and increased donations will be matched by a gift from the estate of Charmaine and Maurice Kaplan. All contributions will directly benefit scholarships for exceptional students like Marcela Alvarez, a freshman at UC San Diego and one of this year’s scholarship recipients.

Alvarez is studying management science and envisions herself as a business leader in the future. “I wish to spend my time doing something I love and enjoy,” said Alvarez. “It is my intent to lead an influential company so that I can make a difference in my community.”

Alvarez learned the principles of perseverance and dedication early on. During high school, she worked 30 hours a week to provide financial assistance to her family, but still managed to earn the Salutatorian position in her graduating class. With a drive to succeed, Alvarez is confident that, with the generous support of donors, she will be able to achieve her academic and career ambitions. “It fills me with immense satisfaction just knowing that I was selected over so many others to receive this scholarship,” said Alvarez. “It pushes me to keep going no matter what, and it proves that I am capable of anything.”

The UC San Diego Hispanic Scholarship Council, founded in 1998, supports stellar students with financial need. As the State of California’s contribution declines—only 6.6 percent of campus revenue comes from state funds for education—all UC students feel the burden of tuition fees, making donations more critical than ever.

“Your kindness has inspired me to help others and give back,” said Alvarez. “I hope that one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals, just as you have helped me.” UC San Diego Hispanic Scholarship Council Scholarship donors include Union Bank, Hewlett-Packard, Qualcomm, Felipe ’89 and Gabriela ’89 Manriquez and Intuit.

Donors are invited to share in the Fiesta de las Estrellas student reception at 6 p.m. April 25 at the Faculty Club on the UC San Diego campus. For additional information or to make a scholarship gift, please visit or call (858) 822-1537.

UC San Diego’s Studio Ten 300 offers radio and television connections for media interviews with our faculty, which can be coordinated via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). To connect with a UC San Diego faculty expert on relevant issues and trending news stories, visit