Jonathan Reyes-Madrid has never known the stability of living in one place very long.  He was in three high schools during his four-year high school career, moving from Chicago to Los Angeles his sophomore year of high school.  In addition to this instability, he was faced with his parents divorcing and a difficult choice to go with his father and sister, losing all contact with his mother.

His dad is from Honduras, while his mother is from the Philippines, neither finishing high school because they had to work.  His father wants only better for his only son.  Jonathan has an inner strength to do his best, working hard to get good grades even when he had to start over in new environments.  He joined the soccer team, motivated to be an active player so his father could watch his son play.  He gained the honor of “Most Improved Player”.  Yet, he found himself always staying a little detached from making friends or finding that special teacher, feeling in his heart that at any moment he would have to move again, and it seemed easier to do without emotional connections.

“During the past five years, my father has been unemployed and we rely on the government to put food on the table and give us health care… My mind explodes with thoughts of what I can actually do with the L.I.F.T. Scholarship… Learning to me is about the experiences in life that teach you, that inspire you to do something meaningful… Now I have a sense of security that I will be able to go to college… opportunity to provide for my kids some day…”

Jonathan is now going to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as a business major with dreams of one day studying in Hong Kong or Milan.  He loves classical rock and is fascinated with antiques, sharing the stories of finding letters from wars long ago and the history behind the words on these treasured pages.  He ran the 2014 L.A. Marathon.  Jonathan looks to each day now with promise, the possibilities an education provides, and the friendships he will make along the way.