Students selected for Fresno State's Smittcamp Family Honors College 23rd Cohort

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- More than 500 students from across the state and even out of state took a shot and applied to be in Fresno State's Smittcamp Family Honors College 23rd Cohort.

Only 50 were selected, 49 of them from the Central Valley.

"There is a camaraderie amongst our scholars from the get-go," says Director Dr. Saeed Attar.

Among them is Tulare Union High School student Victor Martinez-Ambriz.

"It's really made my transition from High School into college so much smoother and I've had a blast," he said. "I am so excited to be part of this program."

Participants receive full-ride scholarships, take a series of specially designed honors courses, learn from guest speakers, participate in discussions and interact in educational and social activities.

Martinez says as a first-generation student, this opportunity is one he and his family cherish deeply.

"They definitely cried when we got the call," he said. "It was a very emotional day but they were so happy for me. Them knowing I would be okay and I would not have to worry about any finances during my time here at Fresno State."

Martinez worked hard to earn his spot in the program.

He was a varsity tennis player, class officer, a member of his high school's Science Olympiad team and participated in many other activities.

He plans to study history and is determined to make the most of every experience after more than a year of virtual learning.

"Being in the dorms and walking around campus, being in a class, being able to ask questions to my professors directly, that's been the biggest change and my most favorite change," he said.

Dr. Attar says he sees students grow tremendously every year and can't wait for this new cohort to explore and thrive.

"There is a joy in seeing students come in as freshmen, grow as professionals and then be ready to go into the world, the next step, get a job and do whatever it is they want to do," he said.

He also wants to encourage high school seniors to take a chance and apply this fall.
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