Student & Donor Stories

Magnolia Zarraga

Magnolia Zarraga graduated cum laude with distinction in 2003 she received a B.A. in Collaborative Health and Human Services from Cal State Monterey Bay prior to obtaining a JD from Monterey College of Law. Magnolia Zarraga was born & raised in Salinas California. Her parents and grandparents were immigrant farmworkers in the Salinas Valley. During her time at CSUMB Magnolia volunteered as an intern at the Monterey County Victim Witness program and prior to that she also worked as a Domestic Violence and sexual assault counselor at the Women’s Crisis Center. Magnolia worked at a couple of other law firms before opening her own Immigration Practice in Salinas.

Theresa Dexter

When I was twelve years old, my mother left my sister and I. We were juggled between family members for a few years, and eventually placed in the child welfare system. I remained in foster care until I turned 18, in March of my senior year of high school. My foster family said “Congrats, you’re on your own.” Problem was, I wouldn’t graduate high school until June—not that anyone expected me to finish high school.

Melissa Trevino

"I almost gave up. It had taken several starts and stops for me to pursue my college education, but my parents, migrant field workers, had instilled in me the importance of an education."

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Outstanding in his Field

Once he sold the farm and the farmhouse that went with it, Bob Johnson had no idea where to find a wall big enough to house the expansive oil painting his late wife Sue had inherited from her family. Sue had known all her life that, despite the absence of a signature, the expressionist oil painting of Inspiration Point in Yosemite Valley had been painted in 1877 by her great grandmother Mary Berkhalter.