Denise Gutierrez


"I was just a kid from East L.A. who was kicked out of continuation school without any aspirations. Today, I am someone who is now pursuing my doctorate at the University of La Verne." 


 In 2003, I finally found the courage to enroll in classes at Chaffey Community College. I was inspired to go to college because my youngest daughter born with a severe disability showed me that anything is possible. She was given only 6 months to a year to live and when she turned ten I decided I would live life with purpose. At the time, I thought I would have to drop out because I did not have a enough money for my books. Nonetheless, God was watching over me. My prayers were answered when I received the Esperanza Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars  Scholarship. I was able to purchase the books I needed, which allowed me to complete another year of college. Having completed two years of college allowed me to apply for other scholarships and inspired me to stay in higher education." Denise is currently President and CEO of The California Council on Economic Education (CCEE), which provides economics and financial literacy training and resources to K-12 teachers, students, and their parents, throughout California. 


Maria Ramos

Maria is a preschool teacher at StoneBridge Christian Academy in Norco, California. She became interested in learning about Child Development as a college student; knowing she wanted to be a teacher. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development (with a focus in Child Development) from California State University, San Bernardino in summer 2016. She also has a Master Teacher Child Permit. Maria attended graduate school at UC Berkeley and received a master's degree in education and a multiple subjects teacher credential. She is now working in the LAUSD as an elementary school teacher.


Sichen Hernandez-Martinez

Sichen Hernandez-Martinez earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Pomona College in 2015 and is an Esperanza Scholarship Foundation Alumni from 2008. Before transferring to Pomona, she earned an A.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Chaffey College. She currently works at Stanford University as a research coordinator at the Behavioral Lab in the Graduate School of Business where she facilitates the research of graduate students and faculty in the organizational behavior and behavioral marketing fields. Sichen also serves as an advisory board member for the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) program at Chaffey.

At Chaffey College, Sichen was one of the founding members of IDEAS, an organization that provides mentoring and support to undocumented students. She was also a member of student government and an officer of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society. At Pomona, she was part of the initial Sagehen Fellows cohort, a program designed to provide peer to peer academic support and further the conversation on a holistic approach to academic success. She also provided administrative support to Pomona's Dean of Students office, and conducted research at Pomona's Psychology department and Claremont Graduate University's Education department.

After graduating in 2015, she continued to work in the Dean of Students Office as the program coordinator for the Sagehen Fellows Program and co-managed the Emergency Fund program to support students in financial need. In the fall of 2016, she moved to the Bay Area to begin a new journey at Stanford University as an outreach and engagement coordinator at the Haas Center for Public Service. During her two years at Haas, Sichen advised over 200 students on public service opportunities and conducted campus wide outreach reaching over 2,000 people.

Sichen won several scholarship awards during her undergraduate career including the following: Psychology Honors Student of the Year and the Dr. Henry Shannon Presidential Scholarship from Chaffey College; the Association of American Association of University Women scholarship; and the Ted Gleason award for making notable contributions to the Pomona College community. Sichen's future plans include pursuing graduate school and conducting research on the intersection of psychology, policy, and access to higher education. Sichen Hernandez-Martinez currently resides in Menlo Park, CA.



Rosa Beltran


"As the first member of my family to attend college, I am grateful for the ESF scholarship, one of the greatest gifts my community has given me."

I received the scholarship in 2004 as a senior at Ontario High School and its impact on my life has only deepened over the years. The scholarship helped defray the costs of textbooks and travel expenses during my freshman year at Harvard University, where I studied History and Literature and graduated with honors. After graduating, I explored writing and filmmaking in Mozambique with the support of Harvard's Michael C. Rockefeller fellowship. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2010, I have worked in the documentary TV industry, founded a writing consulting business, and am at work on my first novel and music album. Since 2012, I have consulted with Esperanza Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars on press materials and to assist in the development of the Ambassador Program, which aims to create networking and personal development opportunities for alumni scholars. I am passionate about the writing process as a means to communicate with myself and with others, and am grateful to be of service to hardworking students and give back to the Esperanza community. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Esperanza Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars!