- Gender: Male
- High School: Hawthorne Math and Science Academy
- Hometown: Cancun, Quintana Roo
- Country: Mexico
Erick, the youngest of two, was born in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, and grew up in Hawthorne, California. When he was only a few weeks old, his parents made the decision to move to the US to provide a better life for their family. They waited for several years, until they had saved enough money. His mother now works as a hotel housekeeper; his father is a line cook specializing in the preparation of sushi.
He says his parents’ sacrifices, which include having worked three to four jobs to make ends meet, and his sister’s example as the first to go to college, motived him to pursue a higher education. One day, he hopes to be able to repay his parents for supporting him by buying them a home.
Today, as a high school junior at Hawthorne Math and Science Academy, he is thriving in and out of the classroom. In addition to making the Honor Roll, he has received a number of accolades and is a member of the Associated Student Body, Partnership Scholars Program, and MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement), a program dedicated to helping “educationally disadvantaged students become engineers, scientists and other math-based professionals urgently needed by industry.”
He ultimately hopes to combine his passion for the arts and STEM by pursuing a dual major in Biomedical Engineering and Acting, or minoring in the latter.
Earlier this year, Erick was one of 150 students who were invited to attend the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s 2016 Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) at the University of California, Irvine. YLI is a four-day, overnight conference that gives outstanding Latino high school juniors the practical tools they need to set a course for success in college and career.
He credits YLI with teaching him the specific steps he needs to take to successfully complete college applications and essays and notes that prior to attending YLI, he wasn’t really sure what he needed to do to apply to college.
He calls on other students to pursue higher education, and recommends they stay focused on the end result: “Though many obstacles may be thrown your way, never give up because the outcome is extraordinary. Just know that many people will always have your back and you [will] always have support from those closest to you.”