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Jovani Barajas

Jovani Barajas,

 Richmond, CA

St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley, CA

Jovani first heard about HSF from his friend and HSF scholar Georgina who told him to look into scholarships for college and specifically, HSF.  His junior year, Jovani started researching colleges that had his perspective major, Kinesiology, where he found his top choices would require him to pursue financial assistance.  Jovani decided to attend the Hispanic Youth Institute in Santa Clara to see what HSF was all about. He describes that coming from a minority background, it was refreshing to see Hispanic professionals who not only motivated him, but supported him as well. Skeptical at first to think he could be very close with a group of strangers in only 3 days at HYI, Jovani was pleasantly surprised that he became closer with fellow students and the HSF staff. When describing HSF’s impact on him Jovani said, “My high school doesn’t really teach much about the process of college so you can get really lost. HSF helps you by answering every question you could have; keeping you on track educationally and socially. After HYI I feel like I can do better than just getting my degree. It’s important for people to step out of their comfort zone and take advantage of opportunities like HYI. It helped me not be afraid to reach out; academically and generally making new friends. I normally would shy away from that but HYI gave me confidence that helped me. HYI teaches you that no other ethnicity is better than the other and its inspiring to be reminded of that”. We thank Jovani for being a glowing HYI attendee who is very motivated and wish him luck in all his future achievements!

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