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Jesus Herrera Tapia

Growing up, Jesus always dreamed of becoming famous for something amazing. “I grew up reading textbooks about famous scientists and thinking to myself, One day I want to have my name in those books.” When Jesus was struggling with the cost of attending classes at Cabrillo College and paying for books, his Advocate, Neal, connected Jesus with CASA where he applied for, and received, a scholarship to help underwrite some of his college costs. Even after Jesus left dependency care, CASA and Neal – now Jesus’s mentor – helped him connect with the FYI (Foster Youth Independence) program at Cabrillo College. Neal continues to be a part of Jesus’s life, acting as a mentor and friend. Now that Jesus is no longer a minor, Neal’s wife is also a part of Jesus’s life and is currently teaching him to
cook. Jesus is carrying a full course load at Cabrillo College, with plans to transfer to San Jose State and major in engineering. He said, “I want to make my family proud. I want to show that education really can pay off. I want a job that is satisfying. I want a better quality of life.” But most of all, Jesus said, “I want to change the world.”

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