EAOP alum Sergio Davila Jr. inspired nearly 500 new admits to four year colleges in a ceremony at the San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus in Calexico last week. At the Imperial County University Admittance Recognition Reception, Davila spoke to college-bound seniors and their parents via Skype from Harvard University.

Davila urged graduates to stay focused during their freshman year, reach out to support staff in transition and retention programs, visit professors during office hours, get involved in student organizations, and balance study with personal life.

UCSD EAOP recognized over 80 participants in attendance, presenting them with a program graduation stole.

Davila was a 2006 graduate of Calexico High School, an EAOP participant, and one of the first Gates Millennium Scholars from Calexico High School (Imperial County). He also worked briefly for EAOP.

After participating in EAOP as a high school student, Davila attended UCLA, where he graduated with highest honors and a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology with a minor in Biomedical Research. He participated in research at UCLA and Stanford University, studying human responses to viral infections. He received an award for the “Most outstanding senior in the major” and a fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Davila now attends Harvard University as a first year student in the PhD. biomedical sciences program. As he told the audience, he hopes to continue making discoveries that will hopefully lead to improved vaccines.

Read the full story on the event at http://www.ivpressonline.com/news/ivp-nearly-500-universitybound-seniors-honored-at-annual-reception-20120418,0,7534765.story