FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Leonardo Luna Villicaña is a third year Public Health student at Fresno State.
He graduated from Dinuba High School's medical pathway in 2020.
Dinuba is where his family settled after moving from Mexico eight years ago.
Moving to the United States opened a world of opportunities for Leonardo, including a chance to pursue a higher education and a career in community health education.
"To me, my American Dream is to always persevere and earn the goals that we have in mind. In this case, it is to earn my professional career," says Leonardo.
Recently, he received his second $2,000 grant from the United We Lead Foundation, the HELP fund and the Consulate of Mexico in Fresno.
Last year, he used the funds to take summer school and is now on track to complete his bachelor's in three years.
Leonardo feels blessed to have the support of his community and his family.
He is also thankful for the organization's support.
"There are so many students like me with goals and aspirations, and there is only so much that we can do for that education and they are the backbone of our education with the help they give us."
The organizations were able to grant $45,000 in scholarships.
There were 80 applications and 30 were selected.
Sol Robinson with the United We Lead Foundation works behind the scenes to help select recipients.
"We look for students that are low income, primarily first generation, show commitment to their studies but also how involved they are in the community," explains Sol.
Scholarships focused on those pursuing a career in public health.
Nuria Zuniga with the Mexican Consulate in Fresno hopes this helps fill a gap in the medical field.
"I am really proud that we have such amazing partners because we have the same goal. To help young people become more independent and become great professionals." says Nuria.
The organizations mention their goal is to keep expanding the grants to help students like Leonardo pursue their goals.