Sergio Estrada | JROTC, Northridge High School
As a child, things were “kind of rough” for Sergio Estrada. “We moved around a lot,” he explains. “And whenever we moved, it was to a smaller apartment.” With three brothers and a sister, says Sergio, it was kind of tight. Moving from school to school – along with the requisite adjustment period – never got easier, either.
When Sergio enrolled at Northridge High School, everything changed.
That’s when Major Stephen Kintzley, a senior military instructor at Northridge, saw something in the young man. “He recognized potential that, honestly, I didn’t really see in myself,” says Sergio, who had joined the Marine Corps Junior Officers Training Corps program at Northridge. “He put me in a leadership position,” he says. “From there, I began to see myself in a different light. I gained confidence in everything I did.”
Without that push, says Sergio, he wouldn’t be where he is today: a recipient of the prestigious Daniels Fund Scholarship who has a job waiting for him in Greeley when he graduates from college. And he believes that every student deserves the same opportunities.
“We all need to work together to ensure everyone is at least given the chance to succeed. That’s what the district did for me.”