“What I hope to get out of my time at SDSU is a great education and lifelong connections.”
Edwin Perez's journey to pursue higher education was not an especially easy one.
"Growing up my family was never really ever stable with money and we struggled with money on the daily — we lived pay-check to pay-check," the junior studying computer science said.
"Financial struggles carried over into my college career as I began working to support myself, and when I started working, I chose not accept money from my mother so that she could have enough money to support my other siblings."
His dedication to scholarship, perseverance and selflessness was recognized when he was selected as San Diego State University's 2015 California State University Trustees' Scholar.
"With this CSU Board of Trustees' Award I am now able to completely focus on school, and for that I am grateful," Perez said.
The award is given each year to students who have demonstrated financial need, experienced personal hardships and have attributes of merit, including superior academic performance, exemplary community service and significant personal achievements. Perez received the William Randolph Hearst scholarship and was awarded $6,000.
CSU trustees' scholars are nominated by their campus president. Each campus selects one scholar, and a committee formed by the CSU Foundation reviews the nominations and awards students additional honors through named scholarship.
A strong foundation
Why did Perez decide to become an Aztec?
"I chose to come to SDSU because there are so many kinds of opportunities for students," Perez said. He immediately immersed himself in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation and Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement. His success in his field earned him a teaching assistant position in a computer science class, a position that typically would only be offered to a graduate student.
But his decision to become involved in campus life began before he was officially a student. Before beginning his freshman year, Black participated in SDSU Educational Opportunity Program's Summer Bridge program. "Transitioning into the college lifestyle was made easy thanks to the Summer Bridge program," he said.
"Being involved with these organizations helped me with guidance in the STEM prospective of my college career."
While Perez is halfway through his college career, he still has plans to make the most of his time left at SDSU.
"What I hope to get out of my time at SDSU is a great education and lifelong connections," he said.
Once Perez obtains his bachelor's degree in computer science, he hopes to gain a career in the industry working as a software engineer. "After that I hope to one day start my own company," he said.
Perez credits his success to his friends and mentor, a computer science professor.
"There have been a lot of people who have helped me while at SDSU — my friends have helped me stay focused but in particular, Professor Alan Riggins has helped me with my major based questions," he said. "He is an excellent professor who knows how to teach and gives great life advice in the world of programming."