Paramount, CA – Paramount High School’s Class of 2019 valedictorian Jasmine Gomez did not always see college as a possibility, but her hard work and long hours made it a thrilling reality when she was accepted into the prestigious engineering program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Of 26,000 applicants for UCLA’s engineering program, only 776 students were accepted for the fall 2019 semester. Gomez credits Paramount High’s engineering pathway course and the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) club for growing her interest and cultivating her growth in the engineering field.
Growing up in a low-income household made the idea of college seem out of reach for Gomez, but inspiration from her mother, who continually encouraged her to follow her dreams, pushed her to pursue higher education.
“My working-class immigrant parents never had the privilege of receiving an education so I knew I had to pursue an exceptional college education for myself and for them,” Gomez said. “I worked very hard to get to where I am today.”
At Paramount High, Gomez took a variety of Advanced Placement (AP) classes, which she said challenged her and taught her how to manage her time. To ensure she was always on track with her academic goals, Gomez visited with her teachers every day after school to clarify homework and lesson plans.
“Every class and teacher influence you in some way even if you don’t realize it, and 10 years from now I might remember a piece of advice given to me even though I did not think much of it at the time,” Gomez said. “I am grateful for the experience with my teachers because they all sparked a desire for me to keep pushing forward and create beneficial change.”
As an engineering student, Gomez plans to pursue a path tied to the improvement of societal issues – ultimately benefiting the world while giving back to her community.
“At Paramount Unified, preparing our students for college and careers is a top priority,” Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez said. “We are very proud of Jasmine and her accomplishments as well as our other graduates who have shown a strong commitment to their education.”
07.15.19_PUSD_STUDENTSUCCESS: Paramount High School’s Class of 2019 valedictorian Jasmine Gomez stands with her AP Physics teacher Charles Wuchner during the school’s graduation commencement ceremony. Gomez will be studying engineering at UCLA in the fall.