Jessica Avendano

In the Spotlight

Class Level


Degree and Major

Bachelor of Arts, Sociology major, Political Science minor


San Mateo, CA


My parents immigrated to San Mateo, CA in the early 1970s from Sinaloa, Mexico. I am the third of four daughters. I was raised in a single-parent home. After high school, I was the first in my family to move out to pursue a higher education. In the summer of 2003, I participated in Summer Bridge which prepared and strengthened me academically for the years to follow. My first year at CSU Stanislaus I joined Lambda Sigma Gamma Sorority, Inc.

Why did you choose CSU Stanislaus?

I chose to attend CSU Stanislaus because I liked the fact that it is located in a small, quiet town, but not extremely far from the city life. I liked to study where there is peace and quiet and when I toured the campus it really gave off a feeling of comfort and tranquility that I felt was necessary.

What advice would you give a prospective student?

I would advise students to take advantage of professors'€™ office hours. It may help to take two different classes by the same professor so that he/ she can have a better idea of the students'€™ work ethic; in case the professors reference can be utilized in the future. If possible, live on campus at least one year; it makes it easier to get to know people. If it'€™s not possible, participate in activities, clubs or other organizations. Keep an open mind but know what your values are. Higher education is more than just a ticket to greater opportunities and a job-it is liberty. Don't take it for granted.

What has been your favorite academic or student life experience so far?

Becoming a sister of Lambda Sigma Gamma is a very memorable experience that I will always cherish.  Working as a University Ambassador my last year was also a lot of fun and extremely rewarding.

What is your career objective?

I want to work in the public sector and serve traditionally underrepresented communities. I plan to pursue a master'€™s degree in Public Administration and work for an organization or the state to improve.

What clubs, sports, and activities have you participated in?

I served as Vice President of Lambda Sigma Gamma Sorority, Inc for two years. The multicultural sorority offered me the opportunity to give back to the local Hispanic community during past Thanksgiving holidays. The sorority has also given me the opportunity to reach out to incoming Hispanic females who also seek support and comfort when they begin their college experience.

For the most part, I have worked in and outside of school since I've been a student at CSU Stanislaus. The work experience I gained as a supervisor for the Patterson Teen Life Center and later at a law office in Modesto the past couple years benefited me in that it gave me an advantage to qualify for the federal internship I am participating in now.

Who is your most influential personal and/or University mentor?

Mr. Fernando Beltran, my academic advisor, met me as a freshman at CSU Stanislaus and I feel he has seen me grow professionally the most. His advice regarding academics and life overall has been very uplifting and has given me the confidence I've needed to achieve my goals.

My mother has been my strongest support system. She helped me financially, emotionally and spiritually so that I may realize my dream.