Grad Stories (2021)
Veteran Spotlight (2020)
From foster youth to Army Reserve to future medical school student. Learn how Ashley Calderon overcame relentless obstacles and persevered.
Calderon was born in San Diego, CA. She moved to Temecula her sophomore year and graduated from Chaparral High School. After graduation, Calderon enrolled at Norco College to pursue a career in medicine.
Calderon’s grit pushed her to complete three years of college as a full-time math major, vice president of the Honors Society, and an athlete on the Women’s Cross Country team. Her energy was endless and paid it forward by helping foster and homeless youth in the Corona-Norco Unified School District. Despite the full load, Calderon had a knack for public service and landed an internship with California State Senator Connie Leyva, all while serving in the United States Army Reserve.
Calderon strongly believes that her tumultuous upbringing as a first-generation college student and woman of color is the reason and drive behind her success. She is eternally grateful to the faculty and staff at Norco College for addressing every basic need and bridging the gap from her disparities to her academic success.
Today, she is finishing strong having earned three associate degrees in Social & Behavioral Studies and Mathematics. This fall, she will transfer to the University of California, Berkeley, where she will continue her pre-med journey, while majoring in Mathematics.
Her long-term goal is to get into medical school where she can study epidemiology with a focus in diabetic research. Calderon is passionate about advocating for social reform and justice, and plans to integrate her medical degree into politics as a possible future candidate for Congress. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, traveling, and leading an active lifestyle.
Ashley Calderon is a student at Norco College. As a former foster youth and veteran, she shares how the programs and scholarships at Norco College helped her be successful:
"My name is Ashley Calderon. I am majoring in mathematics. I am also a pre-med major. My experience at Norco College has been the best experience of my life. If it weren't for Norco College, I wouldn't have been able to arise for my circumstances and get past the tribulations that I've endured in my life."
"Growing up, I grew up in foster care. I've been homeless numerous of times and I failed every math class that I was ever in in high school. After I graduated, I joined the US Army and it was after that experience that I realized I wanted a higher education. I was delighted when I arrived at the campus and found out there was a support service specifically for foster youth and there was a Veterans Resource Center. Together both those programs, including EOPS, which helps economically disadvantaged students, has helped me bridge the gap from my disparities to my success."
"My plan after Norco College is to transfer to a four-year university to get my bachelor's degree in mathematics and apply to a medical school. I would like to express all my gratitude to the donors who have contributed to the RCCD scholarship fund. It has impacted my life and it has impacted many others who have come before me and after me."
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