Inspired to Make a Difference

From helping peers to pursuing ground-breaking cancer research, Cal State LA graduates give back in meaningful ways.

Erika Estrada Medina

Erika Estrada Medina

Photo by Tyrone D. Washington/Cal State LA

Using Education for Innovation in Computer Science

By Margie Low | Cal State LA News Service

When Erika Denisse Estrada Medina received her first computer at age 9, she taught herself to build webpages.

Today, her dream job is to work for Google.

She is off to a good start. Erika, 25, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science during Cal State LA's commencement ceremony on May 24, 2019.

As a student, Erika used her knowledge to help others, tutoring students and offering web support for the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology.

She was on the Dean's List and was also involved with a machine-learning project and developed a natural language processing application.

Sam Croucher

Sam Croucher

Photo by Tyrone D. Washington/Cal State LA

Driven to Help Fellow Athletes

By Myles Bridgewater-Jackman | Cal State LA News Service

Sam Croucher is on a mission to prevent athletes from ending up penniless after a career-ending injury.

He graduated from Cal State LA in 2019 with a Master of Business Administration—and a 4.0 GPA. The men's soccer captain received the prestigious Billie Jean King Scholarship and was named a 2018 Academic All-American.

A summer-league injury, however, deepened his passion to help other athletes. Now a financial advisor assistant, Sam is working toward becoming a licensed financial advisor with a clientele of professional athletes.

"I can make a difference," Sam says. "The desire keeps growing as I have moved up."

Thu-Lan Lily Nguyen

Thu-Lan Lily Nguyen

Photo by J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA

Young Graduate to Conduct NIH Research

By Margie Low | Cal State LA News Service

Just 13 when she enrolled at Cal State LA, Thu-Lan Lily Nguyen, now 18, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a double minor in biology and psychology. She was one of the youngest graduates in the Class of 2019.

Lily received an Elliott R. Barton Scholarship and a Douglas L. Currell Endowed Scholarship.

"Cal State LA stimulated my intellectual growth," she says.

The National Institutes of Health recently presented Lily with a Postbaccalaureate Cancer Research Training Award to perform research alongside some of the leading scientists in the world. Her goal is to pursue a Ph.D.

Ignite Students' Futures

Use your estate plan to establish or fund existing scholarships or programs, and change the world for good. To start planning your gift today, contact the Office of Planned Giving at (323) 343-3060 or robert.avalos@calstatela.edu.

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