Jesus Valenzuela – My Story, Chapter 3

February 20th, 2018

College Success Arizona presents “My Story, Chapter 3” featuring Jesus Valenzuela, one of the many high potential students from low income circumstances who have earned a scholarship from College Success Arizona.

We are following Jesus as he completes his journey at the University of Arizona in pursuit of his Bachelor’s Degree.

This is part 3 of Jesus’ story, centered on his experiences during the first semester of his Sophomore year at the University of Arizona. Jesus is 20 years old and is a graduate of Desert View High School in Tucson, where he was born and raised. Jesus is passionate about music, basketball, and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business.

When we last spoke with Jesus, he was working hard at school and also pursuing his passions of basketball and music, and that passion continues, “When it comes to music, I’ve been blessed to work with a lot of different artists here at the U of A, through different programs such as ‘U of A Unplugged.’ It’s a place where artists and musicians can come together and share their music with the rest of their peers, and their families, in a really informal setting. I also started my first YouTube channel back in October, and it’s been one of the best things that I’ve ever done in my life, because I’ve found a way to release a lot of stress, and release some of my pain from different experiences that I’ve had throughout my life, and throughout college. I’ve also been able to inspire others through starting my (YouTube) channel, and I think the best thing is for me to put up a song or encourage people to follow their passion, whether it’s writing or music, or a sport that they love. My goal is to encourage them to embrace positivity in their lives, and that’s been the best part of music for me.”

Meanwhile, Jesus has had interest in law, business, and working with nonprofits. Now, he’s  narrowing his focus on earning a bachelor’s degree from the Eller College of Management at the U of A, with a specific interest in Management Information Systems (MIS), “I was part of a program through Eller which is an introduction into the field of MIS, and that really opened my eyes into analytics and understanding how Information Technology plays a role in businesses and organizations all over the world. So, it’s given me a different perspective on possible careers, such as MIS in sports and possibly in marketing. Ultimately, I don’t want to choose a career that will limit me, so I want to get some experience in different industries such as sports, entertainment, or law, so that I can be more versatile. Also, if I do decide to go to law school I feel that getting a background in business, with a business degree, will help me gain a different perspective when it comes to analyzing different cases and being a better communicator in general. To me, communication and being a good communicator, is essential in life, and I’m seeing that a lot more this semester with the some of the clubs I’m involved in.”

Jesus is planning on applying to the Eller College of Management later this year.

Meanwhile, dating back to his early days in college, Jesus has volunteered and worked with nonprofits, which continues, “Right now I’m doing a community youth project and talking to students at schools on Tucson’s south side, specifically a school called Challenger.”

Jesus adds that his lifelong addiction to playing basketball is intensifying, “It’s never ending. It’s always going to be a passion, until I cannot walk anymore, until I can’t breathe, I love it! I actually just started an intramural team this semester with a couple of my friends, and we formed a team and we’re playing here at the U of A every Sunday, which is nice. I usually get some homework done, hang out with the family, and get to enjoy some basketball. Luckily, we won two of our three games so far, and we have one more game to go before playoffs. Also, I’ve lost more weight this semester, and a big part of that has been due to basketball.”

Now at the midway of his four-year journey to earn his bachelor degree, Jesus remains passionate about the newness and excitement of college, but also has a keen eye on tomorrow, “A part of me still wants to hold onto the little things that has made my college experience what it is – whether that be meeting great individuals, professors from different parts of the world, friends from different parts of the country, and other countries. Just those little experiences, these are the things that I won’t forget, because they mean a lot to me, but, another part of me is trying to plan for the future. What’s my next step? What’s my next goal, and what do I have to do to obtain that goal? So, these are some of the questions that I’ve been contemplating and just trying to map out the next few years

Beyond financial support, students such as Jesus who have earned a scholarship from College Success Arizona, also receive specialized mentoring services through a team of ‘Success Advisers.’ Barbra Scrivner is Jesus’ adviser, “Barbra has been that support system where I get to talk to her about things, sometimes academically, and sometimes a little bit more personal. I think that I’ve been able to realize it more this semester, that when I’m dealing with any personal issues or things that I’m struggling with, Barbra really let me know that I can count on her for support.”

Thank you, Jesus, for sharing your story and we wish you the very best in your Sophomore year at the University of Arizona. College Success Arizona will continue to report on Jesus’ college journey.

Listen to this entire interview with Jesus

Since 2005, College Success Arizona has worked with nearly 1,300 students, and provided more than 16 million dollars in scholarships and success services to help increase the college attainment rate in Arizona. If you would like to be part of the mission of providing educational opportunity to high potential students from low income circumstances, your tax-deductible contribution can be made through the “Donate” button on the top of this page.

Read Chapter 1 of Jesus’ story

Read Chapter 2 of Jesus’s story

Listen to the PodCast of this interview