Berenice Estrada, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, Huntington Park, CA
Berenice noticed the trend of increasing high school dropout rates in her South Central Los Angeles neighborhood, while her school, consisting of grades 6-12, is the highest ranked school in Los Angeles and 117th in the nation. Berenice took action by collaborating with a few parents in the community and becoming the founder, president, and main mentor of a small tutoring organization now known as LACES-Huntington Park Study Groups. She has recruited other student leaders to serve as mentors, and they have witnessed a drastic improvement in their mentees’ grades. LACES has spread to students outside of their school district and continues to thrive. Berenice has served as a Research Assistant for the Caltech Summer Research Connection. She plans to pursue a career in biomedical engineering.