By Karen Gonzales
Christian Aviles, 22, is a young recipient of the 2011 Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship who is on a mission to help every person in need. He has proved to be an example of the results of dedication and hard work. He is a student at both Amherst College, a private liberal arts college located in Amherst, Massachusetts, and East Los Angeles College.
He was involved in the Ephebian Society at ELAC and is on the President’s Honor List. He is an active volunteer in service organizations both on and off the campus.
Aviles volunteers at an organization that seeks women to overcome domestic violence. He does not only care for people in need within his own community but also to those in need around the world.
“Every day I see pictures of starving children in foreign countries. Who is going to help them survive? I am. That is why I struggle to get a college education,” Aviles said.
He said that Political Science Professor Natalina Monteiro was a great inspiration to him. “Professor Monteiro incorporated the values of social justice, equality and righteousness into her teachings. It is rare to find a teacher who is willing to teach students the importance of using their education to help others but professor Monteiro did just that. She taught me to be a beacon to others by inspiring change,” Aviles said.
Aviles said he will pursue a PhD after earning his undergraduate. He said that his work with others has helped him become the person he is will help him accomplish his goals.
‘My success story is not mine alone. I am here because of a community effort. It was the support of my friends, family, organizations in my community, and teachers. These people have overcome obstacles far greater than mine, such as domestic abuse, alcoholism, and extreme poverty, yet they continue to fight and it is this fight that inspires me,” Aviles said.
Aviles has a goal in mind, a goal of obtaining a higher education not to only better himself as a person but also to help others. “ Many people go to college in order to earn a prestigious credential or secure a high salary but those things are no longer my interest. I realized that I would go to college to change the world, one person at a time,” Aviles said.
Aviles said that he helped a woman learn how to complete a task that to others may be simple, how to capitalize a letter in Microsoft Word. “She hugged me and thanked me for teaching her something that to me seemed like an easy task,” Aviles said.
It was not the gravity of the task that mattered. “What mattered is that she took the first step towards becoming a new person. I knew at that moment that I wanted to dedicate my entire life to helping others,” Aviles said.
Aviles wants to help and make a difference in others. He is on a journey to better himself and acquire a better future to have the opportunity to help every person that needs assistance.