Isabella M., 17 – Funded

California girl Isabella M. is a senior at Moreno Valley High School in Moreno Valley, California. With her dream schools being University of California Irvine, University of California Berkeley, and Redlands University, this Girl on the Rise is interested in staying firmly planted in the Golden State. But, even more importantly than that, she is planning on majoring in business administration with a minor in sociology to equip her for a career in the nonprofit world along with other community engagement work.

What is something you are most proud of?

I’m proud of my ability to balance my responsibilities and not get discouraged when things go wrong or don’t go as planned. It took a lot to get here, but I’m proud of myself for staying motivated and driven.

Have you gone through any tough or challenging times? If yes, how did you deal with those challenges?

I am lucky enough to not have any major trauma, but I do face challenges when running clubs. I run multiple clubs and trying to plan events that overlap is really difficult and stressful. I’m powering through these difficulties by working as a team with my board members to even out the workload.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Girl on the Rise?

When I found out I was accepted, I felt extremely grateful. I’ve never gotten any big awards for my hard work, and I finally feel seen and heard by other women who are willing to reach out a hand to me.

What inspired you to want to be involved with Girls on the Rise?

This year, I have taken on a few leadership roles — and I was hoping for an opportunity to learn better ways to help my community and become a better leader.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? In other words: Why is the opportunity to visit your prospective colleges important to your journey?

I am in AVID and, during our junior year, we usually go on a road trip to tour every college from Moreno Valley to San Francisco. Because of the pandemic, I was not able to go, and I was so upset because I couldn’t tour any colleges. With the money from this program, maybe I can have my own senior road trip and tour the colleges myself!

What schools will you use the funding to visit, and why?

I want to see UC Irvine and UC Berkeley. These universities have great business schools and they’re still in state.