November 19, 2020

Meet our Earl Woods Scholar Class of 2024

Every year we welcome a new cohort of Earl Woods Scholars into our fold – a group of dynamic, civic-minded and high-achieving students representing the best and brightest from their communities. This year was no different. While COVID-19 prevented the Class of 2024 scholars from coming together for our annual pre-college retreat, hosted at our flagship TGR Learning Lab in Anaheim, Ca., they’ve had ample opportunities to connect virtually with one another and our dedicated college-access team.

“This vibrant group of scholars are already standing tall as role models,” said Cristina Fernández, Senior Director of the Earl Woods Scholar Program. “They’ve entered college during a uniquely challenging time and have overcome new challenges with grace and resilience. We’re proud to support them throughout their next four years of college and beyond and are excited to see how their next chapter unfolds.”

As we welcome our new cohort of 21 Earl Woods Scholars, we hear from them, in their own words, who they are and what motivates them.




Jeffrey Williams – American University

Major:  Computer Science and Art Studio

“As a child, I loved to draw, and I also loved to disassemble and study the anatomy of computers, as well as experiment with software and the code behind the programs and functions that I used, which has always fascinated me. These have become an important part of my identity and mission in high school as they begin to transform from a hobby into a profession.”


Alexis Jones – Cornell University

Major: Government and Sociology with a minor in Fine Arts

“One word that best describes me is resilient. Even in the eye of adversity I can overcome. My resilience fuels my adaptability in my everyday life: moving, the death of family and friends, gun violence, mental illness plaguing my family and more. But in the end, I am always able to somehow turn my pain into power.”


Keyri Reyes – American University

Major: Data Sciences for Law, Justice, and Criminology 

“My proudest achievement has been obtaining a full-ride scholarship to American University because as an immigrant to the United States I have always placed great importance on my education and feared not being able to afford college tuition.” 


Aniaya Jones – Loyola University Maryland

Major: English 

“My passion is writing because it is a way for me to communicate in a safe space in the world. In ten years, I hope to see myself featured in book interviews, talking about stories I have written that inspire people to be themselves in the word.”


Mia Jones – Agnes Scott College

Major: International Relations  

“To me, being an Earl Woods Scholar means having a whole network of people behind you for support no matter what you may need. It’s being a go-getter, game changer, leader and being resilient. It’s a family that you will have for life. One day I hope to serve as an advocate for people that do not have the voice to make changes for themselves.”


Faatimah Musa – Tufts University

Major: Film and Psychology  

“I would describe myself as an outspoken person because I will always use my voice to advocate for myself and others. Through my passion for film and psychology I hope to one day create a network of empathy through film so people can understand each other more.


Shai’meere Legette – Winston Salem State University

Major: Undeclared

“The trials and tribulations of my childhood have pushed me to finish high school, attend college, study hard and one day become a psychologist. I am focused and determined to make a change not just in my life but in the lives of others.”  




Jerry Fonseca Garcia – USC

Major: Business Administration

“I am proud to be the first person in my family to attend college and do so at zero cost. Aftercollege, I see myself at a large corporationworking to get my parents and siblings out of our current neighborhood and into a betterone. Ultimately, I hope to help those who are disadvantaged in opportunity.”


Juan Contreras – USC

Major: Aerospace Engineering  

“I am optimistic about my future. I hope to see myself working for an aerospace company that will make a difference in what humans can accomplish in space, as well as in a position where I can give back to my community and others seeking to better themselves.” 


Marvin G. Reyes Gonzalez – UCLA

Major: Biochemistry

“I hope to one day work for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO). I’m passionate about helping others overcoming their problems. I grew up religious and with the concept of ‘love thy neighbor’ imbedded within me. I love helping people grow and progress in their lives.  I know what it’s like to feel helpless. So with that experience, I know I want to help people with their problems so they won’t feel ignored.”  




Yesenia Gómez  Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design

Major: Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design

“As a first-generation college student, my proudest achievement has been getting accepted into my dual degree program. I was always told that my art was nothing more than a silly hobby and that even the thought of me getting into an art school was ridiculous. On the flip side, I have always been devoted to my academics but never in a million years would have thought that I’d be accepted into an Ivy League. After countless hours of writing essays and working on portfolios I received the news that I was accepted to my dream program that only 2% of applicants are accepted into.”


Ali Al-Saleem – UCLA

Major: Human Biology & Society  

“My proudest achievement has been shattering the ceiling; from immigrating to the U.S. only six years ago, to learning English, to challenging myself academically, to pursuing leadership roles, to getting into colleges and to continuing building myself, I can proudly say that I have shattered the ceiling.”   


Kristina Yen Tran – Wesleyan University

Major: Science in Society 

“To me, being an Earl Woods Scholar means having a growth mindset and being someone who continues to improve and work on themselves despite all the challenges they face. Professionally, I see myself attending medical school after college.


Jared Puerta – UC Berkeley

Major: Computer Science 

“My current passion is computers; whether it’s been learning about building computers, how computer parts work or computers in general, I always enjoy learning more about the subject.  I hope to leave college with a job where I can be financially stable and be able to get rid of my family’s financial stress.”


Tiffany Shyirakera – UCLA 

Major – Undeclared

“An Earl Woods Scholar embodies integrity, excellence, success and leadership. Being an Earl Woods Scholar means that I have found a community of people who engage in meaningful discourse about our career paths and success in them as well as a community of people who lift each other up and motivates each other to be the best version of themselves which paves the way for successful futures.” 


Brianna Vizueth – Brown University 

Major: Undeclared

“My proudest achievement has been interning for Congressman Lou Correa where I helped write a Congressional record that now resides in the Libraryof Congress.With passion for community service and social justice, I hope to one day be a foreign service officer working internationally in South America.” 


Tuananh Tran – Stanford University

Major: Human Biology 

“I would describe myself as a lotus, a beautiful flower that grows in murky water. They are a symbol of resilience and my Vietnamese heritage. As a first-generation, low-income student, I understand the financial and educational barriers many people from these backgrounds must overcome. I hope to use my voice to vocalize on issues that may not be known as a way I can give back to my community. I see myself working within the medical field helping to bridge the gap in health disparities and end inequity in low-socioeconomic and marginalized communities.” 


Pedro Ramirez – California State University Long Beach

Major: Mechanical Engineering  

“My proudest achievement so far has been graduating from high school. My parents came from Mexico with the dream of me having a better future than they had. My graduation was a testimony that their dream is coming true. Since I was a child, they taught me that working hard is the only way we can make it far in life. Whether it be in sports or school I always give 110%.”  


Emmanuel Quezada – USC

Major: Undeclared

“One word that describes me is honest because I will always do the right thing when nobody’s watching. To me, being an Earl Woods Scholar means being part of a community of people that want to succeed through helping others.” 


Deyra Aguilar – Wellesley College

Major: Undeclared

“My passion is helping others that come from a similar background. I really hope to have a positive change in the world that would benefit people of color.


Rossana Leal – Claremont McKenna College

Major: Neuroscience

“I will be the first in my family to go to college and even graduate high school. Throughout my life, people have always helped and taken care of me. I can’t imagine myself doing anything other than giving back to my community.”


TGR Foundation is proud to welcome these remarkable scholars into our family. Their hard work and resilience inspire us. We look forward to supporting them as they pursue their passions through education and pave their own path to success.

Redefining what it means to be a champion.


The Earl Woods Scholar Program is supported by TGR Live Events, the Clyde W. and Joan A. Hampton Foundation and Farmers Insurance. To learn more about the program and how you can serve as a mentor, visit