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Home Campus Life News Congratulations to the DSA Scholarship Winners!

Congratulations to the DSA Scholarship Winners!

June 10, 2024

Erika Pierce and Jessica de Laguna Graduates Erika Pierce and Jessica de Laguna

The Distinguished Service Award is one of the most prestigious awards offered at Sacramento City College and dates to the early years of the college.

Two students are selected each year. This award comes with a $1,500 scholarship. Recipients are honored in various ways including on the SCC website, social media and at the May 2024 Commencement.

About Jessica de Laguna

Jessica de Laguna

Jessica de Laguna is graduating with a 3.7 GPA, having completed the coursework for the Associate of Science in Biology as well as both the beginning and intermediate level Chemical Technician certificates at SCC. Jessica is a first-generation college student and former foster youth who is committed to success in STEM and to making a difference in the world around her.  

As a volunteer undergraduate researcher at Sacramento City College, she worked with Dr. Binh Dao's Alzheimer's Disease Research Group, synthesizing peptides with potential antibacterial and anticancer properties. Additionally, she has served as an SCC STEM-Pal tutor for first-semester organic chemistry and has held the position of SCC MESA Student Research Ambassador, helping first-generation and underrepresented STEM students gain experience with scientific research, including hosting four Research 101 workshops for her fellow students. Jessica’s high level of activity in the AvenueM program, which is a community college-to-medical school pathway program, led to her being asked to serve as an Avenue M Ambassador for Northern California, and she has done so with distinction. She has also had a position as a student aid in the Adaptive Physical Education department program at American River College, helping disabled students to improve their quality of life through physical activity. 

About Erika Pierce

Erika Pierce

Erika Pierce is graduating from Sacramento City College’s Registered Nursing program with a 3.48 GPA. During her time in the nursing program, which is an exceptionally rigorous program that requires 40-50 hours a week of studying and in clinical rotations, Erika has also committed herself to the service of others. She participated in the SCC National Student Nurses Association chapter all four semesters of nursing school, serving as the President during her 4th semester, which meant facilitating meetings, coordinating activities, and collaborating with faculty and community leaders to promote excellence in nursing education and practice. She has volunteered at the Sacramento Food Bank and for Chicks in Crisis in Elk Grove. Along with her nursing student colleagues, Erika volunteered at several vaccination clinics, and she administered more than 100 shots to community members. She is also a student volunteer at the UC Davis Medical Center Cardiology Rehabilitation Clinic, assisting patients that have had cardiovascular surgery and are in recovery. She has done all of these activities while being the mother of two young children.

Now that she has completed the SCC nursing program, her next step is to take the NCLEX exam and obtain her RN license, and then she will begin the Master of Science in Nursing Program at Sacramento State, a program specializing in nursing leadership and education. Erika’s goal is to serve in a nursing leadership position at a hospital or in higher education.

In August she will begin at Cal Poly Humboldt to further her studies in Biology. Her long-term goal is to complete the entire AvenueM medical school pathway, with aspirations of becoming an internal medicine physician.