2 first-generation Latinas earn scholarship to help follow their career dreams

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two first-generation Latinas were recently awarded a scholarship by the Fresno County League of Mexican American Women organization. They say it means a lot more to them than just financial support.

Michelle Gonzalez and Valentina Lopez Meza have looked forward to attending college, and most of their encouragement is from their family.

"They've always told me like go to school and study," said Gonzalez.

"My parents have always told me that it's better to have a bachelor's degree at least," said Meza.

But getting that education comes with a price tag, so these ladies decided to start at Fresno City College and apply for financial aid and scholarships.

"It's not bad to go to a community college. I can save a lot of money for the first two years and then transfer to UC Davis," said Meza.

One scholarship they each received from the Fresno County League of Mexican American Women Organization is doing more than helping them with a check.

The non-profit has opened a world of networking opportunities and a support system from strong Latina women in the Central Valley.

"It makes me feel proud to be part of something so special," said Gonzalez.
"There will be people that will help you, especially Latinas, because we understand each other and we know the hardships we go through, " said Meza.

It also motivates them to go far and accomplish their dreams. Gonzalez is hoping to become a school psychologist. A path she chose after living a dark moment in her past.

"I got a lot of anxiety, and I had to go get help from that. I want to pursue that so I can help other kids who are struggling," said Gonzalez.

Meza wants to be a pediatrician and neonatologist to help little ones around the world. Her passion stems from the tragic death of her best friend.

"Who passed away from cancer. She was always really happy with how her doctors helped her, and I wanted to do that," said Meza.

They begin their college journey this fall and plan to transfer to larger universities in the coming years.

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