Marisol Gonzalez ’13 has a clear path of possibility because of philanthropy.
Wildlife, fish and conservation biology major Marisol Gonzalez ’13 knows the importance of clearing the trail for others to follow.
She’s literally done that task during her internship at Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and she’s blazing trails in her academic career at UC Davis by being part of the first generation of her family to attend college—a path that she’s able to pursue because of philanthropic support.
Gonzalez is the recipient of the Tracy and Ruth Storer Scholarship, the Steven D. Mendivil Memorial Scholarship, and the two-time recipient of both the Reno and Margaret Cruz Scholarship and the Lloyd W. Swift Student Support Scholarship.
“The scholarships have had a tremendous impact on my life. They have allowed me to avoid having the gray cloud of financial worries and loans loom over me, and instead have allowed me to focus on my studies,” said Gonzalez, who is also minoring in landscape restoration and Native American studies at UC Davis. “They’ve freed me to blossom and explore the things I’m interested in.”
Gonzalez said the financial support has given her the time to hold an internship at the UC Davis Arboretum, explore her hobby of creating nature-inspired artwork, work with Aim High Headlands Environmental Home Program—an environmental education summer program for Bay Area ninth-grade students, and volunteer at the UC Davis Raptor Center.
“I feel quite blessed and motivated to do my donors justice in continuing to pursue academic excellence,” said Gonzalez, who is interested in pursuing a career as a ranger for national or state parks. “I hope that someday down the road, I can open up doors for other students the same way that doors are being opened for me.”