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Thursday, June 1, 2023

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Compact Scholars program will host its annual graduation reception. Compact Scholars 2012 graduates are pictured. Compact Scholars program will host its annual graduation reception. Compact Scholars 2012 graduates are pictured.

Compact Students Set for Success

Featured graduates Martha Youssofi, Mayra Talamantes and Carina Valdivieso, honored as the fourth graduating class of Compact Scholars.
By Julie Mashburn

On Saturday, May 11, the San Diego State University's Compact Scholars program will host its annual graduation reception to honor the Compact Scholars class of 2013.

Nearly a decade ago students from the Sweetwater Union High School District in Chula Vista began an educational journey that promised to lead them to SDSU if they met certain academic benchmarks through the Compact for Success program.  

Today, some of those students make up the fourth class of graduates who have graduated with the support of Compact Scholars.  By meeting the academic requirements of the program, these students earned guaranteed admission to the university as well as personalized advising and support services throughout their college career.  

Many Compact Scholars have succeeded both on and off campus.  Examples of this success are evident in graduates Martha Youssofi, Mayra Talamantes and Carina Valdivieso.

Martha Yousoffi, 22, double major, B.S., criminal justice, B.S., Spanish

After joining Compact for Success in the seventh grade, Yousoffi arrived at SDSU her freshman year with plans to major in criminal justice.  A general education requirement led her to take Spanish and she eventually decided to take on the language as a double major so she could learn it in depth. 

Martha Yousoffi
While in college, she participated in SDSU's Summer Spanish Language Immersion in Madrid, Spain.  Through the program she studied Spanish and toured Europe.

Yousoffi is an intern at Casa Cornelia Law Center in San Diego where she does translations, primary screenings and helps put together Visa petitions for domestic violence victims.  She is simultaneously working on her translation and interpretation certification.

After graduation, Yousoffi plans to attend law school to become a criminal justice lawyer with the goal of one day becoming a judge. 

Mayra Talamantes, 22, B.S., psychology

Mayra Talamantes joined Compact for Success in the eighth grade.  She graduated from Montgomery High School with honors and earned admission into SDSU where she studies psychology. 

Currently, she interns as a research assistant at Institute of Behavioral and Community Health through the SDSU Research Foundation.  At the institute, she is a top recruiter and enjoys being able to help the Latino community.

Mayra Talamantes
Outside of SDSU, Talamantes has been actively involved in a girls youth soccer league in San Diego.  She began coaching after an injury ended her playing career and was the first female coach of The Aztecs Futboll Club.  By teaching the girls basic skills and a love of the game, Talamantes believes the young girls will be inspired to play college soccer. 

Talamantes has been hired as a Correctional Probation Officer, which she will begin after graduation.  Eventually, she hopes to be a Deputy Probation Officer for San Diego County.

“I hope to counsel juvenile delinquents because I’d like to be the one who changes their life around,” said Talamantes.

Carina Valdivieso, 22, B.S., speech, language, and hearing sciences

Carina Valdivieso
Valdivieso is a Compact Scholar majoring in speech, language and hearing sciences.  Currently, she interns with the International Rescue Committee at Crawford High School in City Heights.  There she assists refugee and immigrant students with reading and writing in English and helps them complete academic paperwork and forms.  

She also played soccer with the students to promote unity among various backgrounds.  While interacting with students Valdivieso learned that it is important to have a cultural awareness in everyday interactions to communicate with others.

While at SDSU, Valdivieso studied abroad in Switzerland for a health and human services course.  She listened to guest lecturers about the Swiss healthcare system, culture and customs and visited the La Source Nursing School and the Hospital in Lausanne.  She has also been a distinguished member of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association.  

After graduation, Valdivieso will pursue her goal of becoming a speech-language pathologist by attending Chapman University's master's in communication sciences and disorders.  

About SDSU’s Compact Scholars Program

The Compact Scholars Program is the postsecondary component of the Compact for Success — a partnership between the Sweetwater Union High School District and SDSU.

The program supports student success by connecting students to the resources of the campus community. Compact Scholars actively engage in "high impact" educational experiences, most notably study abroad, service-learning, undergraduate research, and leadership development.

The goal of the Compact Scholars program is to deepen student engagement and to promote higher graduation rates for Sweetwater District students.