Meet Nelly

When COVID-19 forced the UC Davis college campus to close this past spring, Nelly Escalante turned to PUENTE for help. Nelly has been enrolled in the PUENTE College and Career program since her junior year in high school, so she has a close relationship with our instructors and staff. When Nelly moved back home in April 2020, the PUENTE team helped her transition to distance learning.

Then, when Nelly’s summer internship was canceled, PUENTE assisted her in finding meaningful volunteer work with the American Red Cross as a Blood Donor Ambassador. Through PUENTE’s partnership with the USC Keck School of Medicine, Nelly has also met with local doctors and other health professionals through workshops.

Nelly is remaining on distance learning for the fall semester of her sophomore year at UC Davis. She can’t wait for things to go back to normal.

“Without PUENTE, I would not be as self-reliant as I am now, in terms of moving away from home for college and even choosing a career in medicine,” Nelly says. “The knowledge I gained from attending the program’s workshops helped shape many of my academic decisions and made me more satisfied with my academic choices.”

College and Career Coordinator Jasmine Medrano remarked: “First-generation college students like Nelly face particular challenges during COVID-19. We are proud to help Nelly as she persists towards her educational goals.”