Mireya Saldaña is the Campus Engagement Manager (CEM) for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Mireya’s role is to develop ways to serve Gates Millennium Scholars on campuses around the country and to ensure that they are receiving the support they need as they work towards graduation and ultimately, graduate school and/or the professional realm. This includes collaborating and negotiating with campus administrators to ensure that Scholars have access to enrichment and leadership develop programs, connecting Scholars to appropriate resources on their campuses, supporting Scholars through academic and transitional concerns, and assisting Scholars with individual plans for success and achievement.
Prior to joining HSF, Mireya served as Associate Director of Post-Secondary Services at the Fulfillment Fund, an educational non-profit dedicated to assisting promising, but economically disadvantaged, first-generation students of color graduate from local high schools and pursue higher education. While there, she was instrumental in creating and developing student programs. This included overseeing the organization’s corporate internship program; helping manage and develop its $1.5 million scholarship program; creating a first-ever alumni association; and helping launch career counseling services, just to name a few. Having worked in college access over the span of 18 years, Mireya has enjoyed seeing the potential and growth in the thousands of young people she’s worked with, and making a positive impact in their lives.
A devoted Bruin, Mireya served on the UCLA Latino Alumni Association’s Scholarship Program Committee for five years and since 2008, has also served as a College Fair Programs Alumni Ambassador for the UCLA Alumni Association. Currently, she is an Advisory Board Committee Member for EOPS/CalWORKs/CARE at El Camino College in Torrance, CA.
A native of Los Angeles and the first in her family to attend and graduate from college, Mireya earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a specialization in Chicana/o Studies from UCLA and a master’s degree in Communication Management from the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism at USC.
I love seeing the emotional impact a scholarship, even a small one, makes on a student and his/her family. When students are awarded, we are affirming our belief in them, and this empowers and motivates them to continue on their journey towards a college degree. As a first-generation college graduate, I know first-hand the impact my education had on me as an individual, and on my family and community as a whole. A college degree opens doors and opportunities; it helps one think critically and become an advocate for those less fortunate or without a voice; it inspires others to see themselves in you, and to think ‘big’ about their own possibilities. A college education has made me an agent of change. Imagine a community filled with agents of change; the possibilities are endless.