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David Ortiz, NPA ’05, Earns Coveted McNair Scholarship at SDSU

When he enrolled as a fifth-grade student at Nativity Prep in the fall of 2001, David Ortiz was one of twenty students unsure about what lay ahead of them in middle school. Four years later, as a graduate of Nativity’s inaugural class in the spring of 2005, David took a bold step into the future by enrolling at High Tech High, a high-performing charter high school in Point Loma (CA), where he was able to begin pursuing more deeply his interests in art and history. Now as a junior at San Diego State University (SDSU) majoring in interdisciplinary studies—focusing on art, sociology, and Chicano Studies—David continues to walk even more boldly into the future, with an eye towards pursuing a post-graduate degree in Chicano Studies.

David was recently named a scholarship recipient in the McNair Scholars Program, singled out as one of only a handful of SDSU students to earn the coveted award among the hundreds who apply each year, all of them first-generation college students and all of them from minority and low-income backgrounds. The McNair Scholars are chosen based on their academic record and on their proven dedication to an area of research they hope to pursue after their undergraduate years.

David Ortiz, Nativity Prep ’05, San Diego State ’13, in front of a Chicano-Park mural that he helped restore.

David will spend the first semester of his senior year next year at La Universidad de Las Americas, in Puebla, Mexico, in hopes of enrolling at the University of California Santa Barbara after graduating from SDSU in the spring of 2013. If accepted at UCSB, which has earned national and international acclaim for its Chicano Studies program, David plans to use the McNair Scholarship award to pursue his masters or doctoral degree in Chicano Studies, engaging in research aimed at the impact of globalization on indigenous populations in Mexico and the United States.

David also currently serves as an after-school teacher in the art program at Eje Academy in El Cajon, and spent much of his time last year with the Chicano Park Restoration Project, helping to clean and restore the park’s historic murals.

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