After graduating from Reedley High School on May 31, Lorena Orozco’s first stop in her bright future is Stanford University this fall.
The 18-year-old high school graduate will attend Stanford to study human biology with emphasis in neurology. Her goal is to become an osteopathic neurologist.
“Ever since I was little I always wanted to be a doctor,” Orozco said, adding that the kind of doctor she wanted to be changed through out the years as she grew older but she always had in mind to be a doctor.
Orozco is one of the few Latino students in the Central Valley Latino students who received a Dell Scholarship, and she plans to used the scholarship funds for medical school.
Besides the Dell scholarship, Orozco also received the Gates Scholarship which is a full-ride scholarship for up to five years that would cover everything while she is working on her undergraduate degree at Stanford University.
“Because I got the full-ride, I am able to defer the entire $20,000 amount for medical school,” Orozco said of the Dell scholarship.
Orozco is a first-generation college student in her family.
“My older sister (age 25) went to college but we are all first generation. My parents didn’t go to college,” Orozco said, adding that her parents owned an ice cream shop in Dinuba.
Orozco, who was born in Chicago, moved with her family to California in sixth grade.
Both of her parents are from Jalisco, México. Her dad is for El Bajío and her mother is from La Capilla de Milpillas.
As the second oldest sibling in her family, Orozco is a role model for her 12-year-old brother and 4-year-old sister.
Orozco learned about the Dell scholarship thanks to the Upward Bound program that promoted the scholarship among high school students. The general purpose of Upward Bound program is to generate excitement and increase the rates of college enrollment among high school students.
“I am low income. So my goal was to trying to get all of my college tuition paid by scholarships myself, so my parents wouldn’t have to pay anything,” Orozco said.
Orozco who graduated No. 1 in her class, had a grade point average of 4.392 at graduation.
Besides being a valedictorian for her school, Orozco was also named a Pirate Pillar as one of the top 10 students at Reedley High.
Orozco applied to four CSU campuses, and four UC campuses as well as Princeton, Duke and Stanford.
“The only school I didn’t get into was Princeton,” Orozco said, adding that she selected Stanford because “I really liked their philosophy of interdisciplinary studies. Learning about a lot of things instead of just focusing on one and it was my number one choice.”
Orozco is thinking about to Stanford’s medical school once she finish with her undergraduate degree.
“I am looking forward to growing as a person and learning and meeting new people,” said Orozco of starting her college life in a few months, but will take with her all her great memories from high school like the forestry challenge competition and sport medicine competition.
Orozco was active in school clubs like Students for Peace, where she was the president as well as she was active in her community including being youth representative for Reedley.
Orozco also got an scholarship from Stanford as well as other local scholarships.
“I am really excited for what the future holds for me,” Orozco said. “I am thankful.”