Angel Avalos of Turlock, a biological studies major, has received the top student honor at California State University, Stanislaus.
The senior earned the Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement, presented each year to one student from each of the 23 campuses. It recognizes both academic talent and resolve in the face of life challenges.
Avalos attended Pitman High School for two years, then graduated from Turlock High School. During this time, he dealt with the loss of his younger sister, Isabel, to cancer. He also has a brother, Gabriel.
Angel Avalos will be the first in his family to earn a four-year degree, though others have tried. His parents, Miguel and Aydee Avalos, were both accepted to the University of California, Davis, but dropped out when she became pregnant. Aydee later earned an associate nursing degree. Miguel is studying to be a radiologist.
Angel Avalos has a 3.9 grade point average at Stan State. He did bacterial research at the University of California, Merced, in summer 2018, and has tutored K-12 students. He plans to attend graduate school on the West Coast and earn a Ph.D. in microbiology.
Each of the 23 awards comes with a $6,000 scholarship funded by a donor. Avalos got his from Scott Wells, chief executive officer for Santé Health System and Advantek Benefit Administrators. Both are based in Fresno.
Bad school day gets better
Isaiah Barrios, a special education student at Davis High School in Modesto, had his bicycle stolen upon arriving for classes Tuesday. By the end of the day, he had a brand new bike, donated by staff members.
Drama teacher Lindsay Bryan told what happened on the Facebook page for Modesto City Schools.
Isaiah was riding the bike, his only means of transportation, when he was followed by a transient near Davis Community Park. The student ran into the front office for help, and the man made off with the bike.
“Everyone who heard what happened was just sick about it,” Bryan wrote. “This young man works so hard and always tries 100%. His disposition and attitude are rare — he is sweet and kind to everyone.”
It took just one lunch period for Davis employees to donate enough money for the new bike. It is an Electra Cruiser purchased from World of Wheels Bicycles on Standiford Avenue.
“We called him up to the office at the end of the day to give him his new bike,” Bryan said. “There were tears. Humanity was restored for that one moment and it eclipsed the bad start to the day.”
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