California High School Class of 2020 graduates Britney Galvez and Mark Gonzalez have been recognized as UC Berkeley Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholars, an honor that includes full-tuition scholarships that are offered only to the top 1% of incoming freshmen.
Galvez and Gonzalez, first-generation college-goers, will receive additional benefits that include priority class enrollment, guaranteed housing, faculty mentors and automatic placement in the UC Berkeley Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholars Association, with the opportunity to network with a select group of 800 scholars and 100 supporting faculty.
“Britney and Mark distinguished themselves as high achievers at Cal High and now they will have tremendous opportunities for academic growth at one of the top universities in the country,” Principal Bill Schloss said. “We consistently send between five and 10 students to Berkeley every year, but it is unusual to have two Condors receive such a prestigious honor. We are very pleased and grateful that they were chosen.”
Other scholarship recipients include La Serna High graduates Elizabeth Vazquez, who received the award from UC Irvine and UC San Diego but will attend Johns Hopkins University, and Cole Aedo, who received the award from UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego but will attend Caltech.
“This is so amazing,” said Galvez, who graduated in June with a 4.44 GPA and completed 10 Advanced Placement and four honors classes. “I am most happy for my parents, who have always supported me.”
Galvez, who will major in chemistry, was a member of Cal High’s orchestra for four years and participated in Whittier College’s Artemis Program, a science-based mentoring program for high school girls, where she performed lab work and conducted research. She also served as a volunteer math tutor at Graves Middle School and as a robotics mentor for the Whittier Boys and Girls Club.
“I always thought I would go to college close to home, but as a Berkeley student, I am looking forward to growing up, being independent and meeting new people,” Galvez said.
Gonzalez graduated with a 4.27 GPA and completed 11 AP and three honors classes. He plans to double major in business and computer science, but will explore his options before making a final decision.
“This is really exciting for me because I really enjoy networking,” Gonzalez said. “Having a faculty mentor is a huge blessing. It will help me broaden my connections and expand my opportunities for success.”
Gonzalez credits Cal High’s award-winning Puente college prep program for providing crucial assistance in helping him decide what classes to take, what colleges to apply to and how to select a major and a career. He also served as the Cal High Entertainment Unit head drum major and played trombone in the school’s jazz band.
Gonzalez has already established a business as a day trader and wakes up early every morning to make stock market transactions. He looks forward to someday running his own business.
While Aedo plans to study physics at Caltech, Vazquez plans to study biology and is considering a pre-med track.
“I like science and always dreamed of being a doctor,” said Vazquez, who developed her passion in AP Biology. “I also gained valuable experience through La Serna’s Red Cross Club and volunteering at the ICU ward. It showed me how dedicated medical professionals are.”
Published June 29, 2020