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Merrifield Scholar Strives Toward Promoting Higher Education

Jessica MederosAs a senior in high school, Jessica Mederos ’10 was determined to study business in college and pursue a profitable career. But her experience at Loyola Marymount University helped the 2009 Donald P. Merrifield, S.J., Scholarship recipient pursue a different career path.


“I want to get a master’s degree in counseling, and promote higher education to high school students,” said Mederos, who is a double-major in business and Spanish. “I want to give back to the community any way I can and help my family, especially my parents, who have always been supportive.”


Mederos’ desire to counsel high school students, particularly minority students, developed through her extracurricular and service activities at LMU. She has worked for Chicano Latino Student Services, served as president for LMU’s Spanish Club and volunteered for El Espejo, an after-school tutoring program. Also, Mederos works as a translator for the Dolores Huerta Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works for fair and equal access to health and human services for disadvantaged people in California’s Central Valley.


“I really enjoy encouraging high school students to succeed and listening to their stories. Some of them even come from neighboring communities, and although we may have very different life experiences, I can still relate to them,” said Mederos.


The Mexican American Alumni Association awards the Merrifield Scholarship annually to a senior who demonstrates academic excellence, leadership, and a commitment to social justice. Mederos said being a recipient will help lessen her financial burden and allow her to participate in more on-campus activities.


“I am so thankful to MAAA, and I really appreciate that I was chosen. I’m the oldest of four siblings and the first in my family to go to college. We’re all happy, because it’s one less financial worry for the whole family,” Mederos said.       


Mederos will be among the many scholars honored at the 28th Annual MAAA – Latinos for Education Scholarship Awards Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 5. To learn more about making contributions that help LMU students seize new opportunities, please visit www.lmu.edu/maaa or call Edgar Aguirre at 310.338.5878.

Photo: Mederos (left) with her sister.

Posted October 26, 2009