5 UC Davis Students Liberated ‘By Philanthropy’

Awareness Campaign Shows How Fundraising Benefits Students

After UC Davis’ $1 billion fundraising campaign concluded in 2014, some students asked the university, “Where did the money go?” Unless they receive a scholarship, many may not be aware how student life at UC Davis has changed through the generosity of donors.

In May, the UC Davis Foundation created an awareness campaign to show just that. Across campus, you’ll see T-shirts worn by scholarship winners, and lapel pins on faculty and staff who have received support. Look for campaign stickers on buildings and fixtures. All of these show the people, halls and equipment supported “by philanthropy.”

We invite you to check out the Giving website that includes stories about people who have benefited from philanthropy, including these five students:

1.    Cole Williams ’19

A portrait of Cole Williams in the UC Davis Arboretum
(Nicole Schreider/UC Davis photo)

When Cole Williams entered college, it was the first time in this Davis native’s life that he didn’t have to worry about money. Starting at the age of 5, he took on odd jobs to help his family after his dad passed away from cancer. Now Williams can focus on being a UC Davis student. Read his story.

2.    Jennifer Youm ’17

Portrait of Jennifer Youm in the UC Davis Arboretum
(Nicole Schreider/UC Davis photo)

Jennifer Youm is studying human development with the goal of becoming an occupational therapist so she can help people with disabilities. "Philanthropy, to me, is about selflessness,” she says. “It's necessary for successful people to offer that stepping stone to others, so our society can grow as a whole together." Read about how Youm is pursuing her dream.

3.    Omar de la Cruz, J.D. ’18

Omar de la Cruz portrait in the UC Davis Arboretum
(Nicole Schreider/UC Davis photo)

Housing in San Francisco is expensive, making it hard for people to live there, especially working-class families. Thanks to a UC Davis fellowship, Omar de la Cruz is working for housing equity in San Francisco. His internship at the public-interest law firm Public Advocates is thanks to a fellowship. Learn more about this law student’s plans for equal justice.

4.    Gina Salinas ’17

Gina Salinas portrait in the UC Davis Arboretum
(Nicole Schreider/UC Davis photo)

Cancer survivor Gina Salinas plans to live her dreams and encourages her three children to do the same. After a career in the finance industry, in 2009 she learned she had cancer. In reassessing her life,  Salinas decided to pursue a degree in sociology and ethnic studies at UC Davis — a decision that became more tangible when she was awarded the Osher Reentry Scholarship. Read about how she has been liberated by philanthropy.

5.    Roxana Sierra ’16

Roxana Sierra
(Courtesy photo)

Roxana Sierra loves conflict — not engaging in it but studying it. The fourth-year international relations major from Los Angeles is fascinated about why wars begin, the effects they have on people and their communities, and the ways in which large-scale conflict can be prevented. Read more about Sierra’s pursuit of war and peace.

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