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  • Jade Griffin

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  • Jade Griffin

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Gifts from the Heart

Students and scholarship philanthropists connect to share impact of giving

What do you get when you bring together outstanding undergraduates and the generous donors who established scholarships to support them? At UC San Diego’s Hearts and Scholars dinner, it’s an inspiring evening demonstrating the real-world impact of scholarships

This year’s event attracted many scholarship supporters who have helped make a world-class UC San Diego education a reality for ambitious and talented students from all socio-economic backgrounds. Student scholarship recipients expressed how much they have benefited from the support. Many expressed that they would not have been able to attend UC San Diego without the gift of a scholarship.

Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla thanked UC San Diego’s visionary scholarship donors and shared with the crowd the important impact of scholarships in transforming the lives of promising students.

“With the support of generous philanthropists, we are unlocking new possibilities for our future Tritons, who will graduate with a new level of curiosity, innovative spirit and a nontraditional approach to creating positive change in the world,” said Chancellor Khosla. “The benefit of scholarship support goes well beyond the scholarship recipient. The impact multiplies and ripples outward, as these students have a positive effect on their peers, our campus, our community and our world.”

Just a few of the remarkable students who were on hand to share the impact of their scholarships included:

Cassidy Evaristo ’18

Cassidy Evaristo

Engelhorn Family Endowed Scholarship

When Cassidy Evaristo transferred to UC San Diego from Mesa Community College, she was looking for an educational environment that combined rigorous scientific inquiry with classes that would help foster her ingenuity and refine her career goals. Her major in biology and bioinformatics, with a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation, does just that. As she prepares herself for a career in intellectual property and patent prosecution, she knows her future is full of possibilities.

“It means so much to me that I have the opportunity to reach my goals at this wonderful academic institution and push boundaries that my family members may not have been able to do due to financial hardship,” said Evaristo.

Della Syau ’19

Della Syau

Regents Scholarship

Della Syau is part of the Regents Scholar Research Initiative, a UC San Diego program that provides talented undergraduates with early opportunities for research experience. As a freshman, Della was paired with biological sciences professor Randy Hampton and began researching the mechanisms of retrotranslocation in the endoplasmic reticulum membrane.

The experience was so rewarding that Syau has already decided to pursue a graduate degree. Her path is clear, and her scholarship paved the way for her to chase her dreams. “Thank you for allowing students like me and many others to explore our passions and build the foundations for our future career plans,” said Syau.

Khalil Williams ’20

Khalil Williams

Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship

Khalil Williams enrolled as a double major in political science and clinical psychology to set himself a challenging course. As an advocate for foster youth, he is dedicated to helping young people overcome emotional scars and troubled pasts. To this end, he and his sister plan to launch a juvenile psychotherapy practice with a law component so they can address criminal justice issues and impact the lives of children nationwide.

He’s already making an impact on campus. Williams volunteers with UC San Diego’s Foster the Students organization as a mentor for students who have come through the foster and social services systems. He is helping former foster youth access the social, academic and scholarship support he enjoys at UC San Diego.

To learn more about supporting scholarships at UC San Diego, please visit

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