When Nick Aghi graduated from Beckman High School in Irvine in 2016, UC Berkeley had already accepted him as an incoming freshman. Nick, however, chose not go to Cal, realizing that he needed some time with family and to figure out what he really wanted to do. He enrolled at Santiago Canyon College (SCC) and focused his energy on taking general education requirements for the University of California. During the three years he was at SCC, he also discovered a genuine love of travel, visiting over thirty countries. “My family background spans India, Thailand and Italy, so that was motivation enough to want to travel. But traveling to other countries also gives you a different perspective from growing up here; it made me realize how lucky I am and motivated me to think more about how I can give back to the community."
And give back he has. He and his brother, Mehul (also an SCC alumnus) recently established an annual named scholarship for students at Santiago Canyon College. The scholarship will annually recognize a student in the Honors Program with financial need, and will awarded for the first time next spring.
Nick graduated With Highest Honors from SCC in June 2019, and is heading into the business program at Berkeley in the fall. His long-term goal is to start a technology-based company that will have a positive, global impact on people's lives.
Asked why he chose to go to Santiago Canyon College when he had so many other options available to him? “My brother went here and was very successful. It was also a good financial decision, and gave me a chance to better define what I wanted to do. SCC professors were very engaged with students, especially in the Honors Program. I was very impressed with the education I got here."
Asked why he chose to give back to future students at SCC, especially so early in his own life? “From my travels and my own experience, I've learned that there is more satisfaction and importance in using what disposable income I have for good. This is a great place to which to give back. SCC offers so many different amenities; anyone – no matter who they are – can thrive here. There are opportunities here for everyone."
If you would like more information on establishing a scholarship in honor or memory of someone, contact the SCC Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.sccollege.edu/foundation.