Jesus Salvdivar-Mancillas has experienced tremendous loss in his life, yet rather than feel hopeless it has inspired him to soar. He is an only child who lost his father in a horrific car accident on the evening of Easter Sunday, 2008. His parents did not have much formal education, with his father having none at all and his mother only going to school through 8th grade. Holding close during these trying times to his Grandfather and Grandmother, they too past in 2012 and 2018 respectfully. Jesus felt defeated and alone momentarily, with his mom and him having to move from apartment to apartment all over the San Fernando Valley. Jesus worked part-time at McDonalds, while his mother picked up small side jobs. Little did he know two organizations were going to come into his life and save him. First was “L.A. Best where I was able to find life-long friends and develop a passion/hobby for dancing”. Fortunate circumstances continued when “a miracle apartment near Granada Hills Charter High School” which allowed him to attend this academically challenging high school. Jesus found DECA, an organization founded in 1946, the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) organized around an ambitious goal: to improve educational and career opportunities in marketing, management and entrepreneurship for students in high school. Entering competitions for DECA, his junior year Jesus went to the International Conference in Atlanta, after placing first in the Regional Conferences creating a “fashion virtual business simulation.” Jesus had found his passion and inspiration!

All the forks and challenges of Jesus’s journey from the emotional pain to giving up his phone, tv, internet, and other “luxuries” as he defined them, that many high school students take for granted, just to afford the necessities of life have led him to today, where in 2019 he began his path at U.C.L.A. as a L.I.F.T. Scholar. He is majoring in Business Economics with a minor in entrepreneurship. Jesus is always challenging himself to be the leader he is meant to be and learn as much as possible. Even during the Freshman Summer Program, he not only earned A’s in his classes, but added an honors course because he wanted to “challenge self as much as possible” excelling again! Then he was asked to run for president of his dorm… AS A FRESHMAN… and now he is the President of Delta Terrace, assisting others in their transitions and planning socials and programs. Jesus inspires us all to be our best and conquer our fears of the unknown and what may be difficult!