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Meet Natalia Cruz

When faced with the daunting decision to choose a four-year university, Natalia felt that none of the options resonated with her. Determined to avoid debt for something she wasn't confident about, Natalia boldly chose to explore community college as an alternative.

Through her best friend's encouragement and extensive research on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Reddit, Natalia discovered stories of individuals who thrived in community college and later transferred to prestigious universities. Intrigued by these success stories, Natalia embraced the opportunities community college education offered.

At MiraCosta College, Natalia quickly found her stride as a Student Ambassador. This role allowed her to benefit from the college's extensive support system and help fellow students navigate their academic journeys.

Immersing herself in various programs and clubs such as the Community Learning Center, Community Social Media Club, MEChA, Associated Student Government, and the Sustainability Club, Natalia experienced personal growth and discovered her passion for business administration.

Guided by dedicated counselors, she shifted her focus from marketing to business administration, opening up a world of future opportunities. Natalia's involvement on campus led to remarkable connections, including Jonathan Gomez, who oversaw the Student Ambassador program. Through Gomez's support, Natalia secured a coveted spot in a summer program at the University of California, Irvine, called the Summer Institute for Emerging Managers and Leaders (SIEML).

During the SIEML program, Natalia honed her leadership skills, networked with students nationwide, and even won first place in a case competition. The experiences and support she received at MiraCosta College exceeded her expectations and propelled her toward a bright future.

With her impressive achievements, Natalia was accepted into the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, one of the most prestigious business schools in the country. Ready to embark on this new chapter in her academic journey, Natalia plans to graduate and utilize her business skills to uplift low-income communities.

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