By Angela M. Rodriguez
Greetings, California Construction Trucking Association (CCTA) members! My name is Angela Rodriguez, and my father, Jorge Rodriguez, is a member of the CCTA with his Columbo Trucking Inc. Company.
I was privileged with being awarded a CCTA scholarship in 2006 for my freshman year at Princeton University. As a first-generation college student in my family who traveled across the entire country to attend college, it was such a relief to know that the financial burden of college was one less thing my family and I had to worry about, thanks in part to the CCTA scholarship.
I graduated from Princeton in 2011 with departmental honors in Sociology. My years there were definitely some of the most challenging years in my life, but also a time of incredible personal growth.
My greatest achievement at Princeton was my senior thesis, titled: “Latino/a Parental Involvement and Student Academic Achievement: A Case Study of the Los Angeles Parent School Partnership Program.” This culminating project took two years to complete, and it was inspired by a summer internship I had done with a civil rights organization in Los Angeles.
In addition to tackling an academically rigorous course load, I was also deeply involved with the Student Volunteers Council, Peer Academic Advising Program, and the Community-Based Learning Initiative Office on campus. Participating in these and other extracurricular activities enabled me to find a balance between classes and everything else, but it most importantly allowed me to do what I am most passionate about; helping my community.
As I continue along in my life journey, I am currently a Dean’s Merit Scholar at the University of Southern California (USC) Sol Price School of Public Policy, in the Master of Public Administration Program. I look forward to receiving my master’s degree in May 2014. Thus far, this program has been a great learning experience and is every day helping me become an expert and leader in the realm of public administration. With this professional degree, my aspirations include implementing quality education reform through local and/or state government agencies, such as the Los Angeles County Office of Education and the California Department of Education.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for making the college dream possible for students like me through your generous contributions! With your help, we are able to become agents of change in reaching a more equal society!