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First-gen immigrant among 1% of transfer students accepted to Stanford

   Not only is recent College of Marin graduate Juan Camara the first person in his family to go to college, he received a full scholarship to Stanford University, where he transferred this fall. According to COM, Stanford accepted just 27 transfer students out of 2,352 applicants in 2019 —  a 1.15% acceptance rate.  

   The road to Stanford was not an easy one for Camara. A first-generation immigrant and the youngest of three children raised by a single mother, Camara graduated from high school with a 1.5 GPA and worried about his future. 

   “I felt if I stayed here, I’d become another statistic,” he said. 

   So Camara joined the Army and when he returned, registered for summer classes at College of Marin. But he needed to work full time to reach his goals, so he applied for and received federal financial aid. He also took part in various work study positions, including one at the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden at College of Marin’s Indian Valley Campus in Novato. 

   Stanford gives transfer students a year to pick a major, so Camara will have some time to decide on his focus.
  “I’ve been looking into energy resources engineering and environmental law,” he said. “I’m breaking generational barriers. And that’s very important to me because not many people with my background or story are given an opportunity like this. I’m the first person in my family to go to college and I hope it makes it easier for my nephews and my future children as well.”  
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