Luis Antezana set himself apart from other students at Franklin High School by serving on the Highland Park neighborhood council. Now, as a senior at Cal State L.A., the political science major continues to be a stand-out. Last month, Antezana, was one of 23 students from across the Cal State system that were honored with a CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement and a $6,000 scholarship. But it was only a few years ago that Antezana’s accomplishments would have seemed unlikely after the Bolivian native discovered that he was an undocumented student, leaving him unable to receive financial aid.
Instead of dropping out, however, Antezana plans to apply to law school, become an immigration lawyer, and then perhaps pursue a career in politics. “I learned that if I need something that is important, then I need to put a lot into the effort,” said Antezana in a press release issued by Cal State L.A. The school provided more details about Antezana’s story:
Originally from Cochabamba, Bolivia, Antezana migrated to the United States with his family when he was seven. Moving to Highland Park, his parents worked hard to support the family and encouraged Antezana to do well in school.
Antezana, who was ready to go to college after high school, remembers the sorrow after learning that he had no means to pay for college. “I was told ‘no social security card, no aid’,” he noted, adding that his parents couldn’t afford to pay for his college.
However, he applied for the Erika Glazer Family Scholarship and was fortunate to be selected.
At Cal State L.A., Antezana has been active in student government and also been working to improve the process through which undocumented students can receive financial aid and make more classes available for students.
“One day, I will run for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council—and who knows—possibly the mayor’s office,” Antezana said. “I believe as the mayor I could have the most impact in helping the residents of Los Angeles and beyond.”