"Even though I already reached my savings goal with Opportunity Fund, I still saved throughout college."
With Opportunity Fund's help, family role model Gilberto was able to put himself through college at UCLA.
As the eldest of eight children with a single mom, Gilberto feels a sense of responsibility to be a role model and to set a standard of success for his younger siblings.
Gilberto is a gifted student and is very driven to succeed. Throughout his high school years in East Palo Alto, he focused on his studies and was actively involved in the community as a Police Cadet with the East Palo Alto police department. He graduated at the top of his class.
With such a remarkable track record of success in high school, he was offered a place in UCLA’s college of liberal arts, but his mother was unable to afford the tuition. His family believed in the importance of education, was unsure how to make
it work financially.
Fortunately, Gilberto was accepted into Opportunity Fund’s savings Program and his grades earned him multiple scholarships. Through the combination of these services, Gilberto was able to accept UCLA’s offer.
At UCLA, Gilberto was devoted to student government, teaching English to day laborers, and campaigning for underpaid workers in the Los Angeles Area. He earned a spot in the prestigious Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Affairs.
Gilberto explains that being involved in the savings program instilled in him a habit of saving. “Even though I already reached my savings goal with Opportunity Fund, I still saved throughout college. I don’t even think about it anymore,” he said.
“I just set aside a certain amount of money in my account each month and don’t touch it.”
Gilberto graduated from UCLA this May, 2012, with a Bachelor’s Degree in political science and minors in public affairs, urban and regional studies. With this hard-earned degree, he is heading to D.C. this fall for a fellowship in public policy. After working for a few years to gain experience in his field, he plans to attend graduate school to pursue a degree in urban planning.