Success Stories

Guardino Scholarship Winners Head to School


The Guardino Affordable Housing Scholarships are granted each year to high school seniors living in affordable housing and attending college as freshmen after graduation. Four $3,000 awards were given this year and we were fortunate to meet one of the recipients in our office: Sumayia.

Born in Bangladesh and having immigrated to the U.S. at the age of one, Sumayia’s family moved six times in three years – living everywhere from sofas in relative’s houses to shabby apartments in difficult neighborhoods -before the finding an affordable home at Elena Gardens in San Jose.

Thanks to the on-site computer lab she embarked on a journey of learning and teaching -most recently as a volunteer mentor at the EAH community center. As the president of the Muslim Student Association in high school, she helped raise of $500 in humanitarian aid to help Syrian refugees. Sumayia is first in her family to attend college and began attending UC Berkeley in August 2018 to obtain a BS in civil engineering.

She hopes to use her degree at Engineers Without Borders -a nonprofit that helps communities around the world build sustainable infrastructure. “This scholarship doesn’t just help my education and success,” she says, “it saves my family the extra stress as they wonder how they will send their own daughter to college.”

Have a great first semester, Sumayia! For more information on the Guardino Affordable Housing Scholarship, click here.