Karla Magallanes, daughter of Peruvian immigrants who dreams of becoming a pediatrician, is a 2020 Maisin Scholarship recipient

With a dream of helping kids and giving back to the community, Karla Magallanes is one of the recipients of this year’s Mainsin scholarship. 

“My parents immigrated from Peru and neither of them had the opportunity to attend college. They came to the U.S to give their children a better life. I not only wanted to win the Maisin scholarship for myself, but also for my family and more specifically my parents,” Karla said, adding, “My family has always been my biggest motivation, therefore, when I won the award I was beyond grateful.”

In high school, Karla took an AP Psychology class which sparked her interest in children’s mental and physical health. “I learned about many disorders, such as PTSD and depression and how our upbringing affects our actions throughout our lives. I was able to relate these concepts to difficult experiences my sister and I had gone through during our childhood as well as challenges we recently had to overcome,” said Karla. 

Karla volunteers to work with younger students. The child development portion of her psychology course made her even more intrigued to continue pursuing psychology during college.“ My hopes for the future are that I graduate with a degree in psychology and incorporate what I have learned to my dreams of becoming a pediatrician. I would like to continue giving back to communities and working with kids who might not have the same health resources and emotional support as others,” Karla said. 

COVID 19 creates a huge challenge and struggle for Karla’s family because the entire family of six lives in a small 2-bedroom apartment. In addition, Karla said, “My parents were unable to work as everything was closed and because one of my parents doesn’t have papers, they did not receive help from the state or unemployment benefits.” 

This past summer, Karla volunteered for Breakthrough SF and joined their Volunteer Leadership Program. “The Program made such a big impact on me. I was able to tutor students, decorate our community, help in classrooms, plan events, and teach an elective class.” In addition to her work with Breakthrough, Karla enjoyed taking car trips and watched many movies with her little brothers to keep them distracted while sheltering in place. 

Karla will be attending San Francisco State for fall semester and The University of Miami for the spring. She will be majoring in psychology (B.S) and am hoping to be on the pre-med track to become a pediatrician. San Francisco Education Fund is a Social Impact Partner and proud sponsor of the scholarship that will help Karla pursue her education. The Maisin Scholar Award Program is sponsored by the SFPUC’s Social Impact Partners and helps San Francisco public students overcome the financial obstacles that stand in between them and their pursuits of higher education.