Carlo’s Story

Life isn’t easy for Carlo Lopez. Like many community college students, his family struggles, and money, housing, and food are mostly a daily focus. Determined, Carlo fends for himself by relying on hope, ambition and services available, especially the STEM Equity & Success Initiative (SESI), is a comprehensive, multifaceted program intended to increase the participation and success rates of Hispanic and low-income students in STEM fields and careers.

With SESI’s help, Carlo now knows the joy of academic achievement and wants people who are growing up in similar circumstances to know that joy too. His wish is for kids like him to hear what he heard at SCC: the sweet sound of a voice that says I have your back.

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Carlo taught himself to code by pouring over free tutorials. Best of all, he accomplished something, a fact that moved him to accept SESI’s help and try SCC despite his life’s brutal reality and an average GPA.

Now, Carlo is a full-time student, studying computer science, and looking forward to earning a degree and transferring. He still plans on a career of helping people; beginning with those who think college is not for them. It can be done; Carlo tells those students. There is a way financially, and there is help academically. Follow your dream, think big and go to college.

Hearing someone say they had my back changed my life.

– Carlo Lopez, Sacramento City College

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