- Gender: Female
- High School: Gardena High School
- Hometown: Gardena
- State: California
The second of three children, Jennifer Corte grew up in Gardena, California, southwest of Downtown Los Angeles. She explains that significant challenges she had to face early on, in her home life, led her to focus on school as a means to securing a stable, successful future.
This year she graduated from Gardena High Schoolas the 2017 Class Valedictorian with a 4.157 GPA. In addition to her outstanding academic record, she has been involved in numerous activities and clubs, including Key Club, Interact, High School Task Force, Environment Club, and Senior Class Council. She played volleyball all four years of high school and served as varsity team captain. However, she says one of her most personally rewarding activities was serving as a peer counselor to other students, which helped her realize a single person can make a difference to a whole community.
She was also one of 148 students selected to attend the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s 2016 Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) at The University of Chicago. 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.
“HSF has allowed me to understand there are countless opportunities for me to succeed,” she said. “[It] has inspired me to become a better person, and to dream the impossible dream.”
This fall, Jennifer will be attending her dream school, The University of California, Berkeley, becoming the first person in her family to attend college. She plans to major in neurobiology, and then go to medical school, eventually becoming a neurosurgeon.
She urges other students who have had to overcome personal challenges, due to circumstances out of their control, to double down on their efforts to find solid footing in all aspects of their lives. Her own experience demonstrates that adversity can forge strength, determination, and, ultimately, success. “Work incredibly hard in school,” she advises, “because it is worth it, and it all pays off.”