Caloosa Belle

Hernjandez-Trejo heading to Southern Cal

Jose Hernandez is going to Los Angeles for college as a QuestBridge Scholar. (Submitted photo/Val White)

“I’m really excited,” said Jose Hernandez-Trejo, seventeen year old graduating Senior of LaBelle High School, on his upcoming move to Los Angeles, California where he will be attending The University of Southern California.

“I visited a few weeks ago and I didn’t want to leave on the flight back! I was hoping the flight would get cancelled or something,” Jose added.

The sound of excitement in his voice continued throughout our conversation as he told me of his passions in medical science.

“When I was younger I always wanted to be a paramedic. But as I grew up that sort of shifted more towards a desire to be a doctor or to do work in clinical research,” he explained.

And it is that long held passion that fueled Jose’s journey throughout his education and pushed him to excel academically. His academic achievements have definitely opened the doors for him to study at the University of Southern California.

“I don’t think I would have known about USC if it hadn’t been for QuestBridge. QuestBridge is a program that helps to get low income, high achieving students in touch with larger schools that we probably wouldn’t have a good chance of attending or even knowing about in the first place,” Jose said.

“In ten years I would love to be a medical doctor, practicing either emergency medicine or general surgery,” he said reflectively on the possibilities that lay ahead of him from this exciting vantage point.

“When I was in Los Angeles I went to the Museum of Natural History, which is literally right across from the USC campus. I saw the Space Shuttle Endeavor. It was kind of cool because when I was in the fifth grade I saw that shuttle go up for the last time at Cape Canaveral, and I just saw it sitting in a museum right across from where I’ll be living,” Jose said with a tone that was shifting from excitement into wonder.

We send you off, Jose Hernandez-Trejo, with the best of wishes for your future in Southern California and we know that the Space Shuttle you saw all of those years ago and now that resides at your future next door, will serve as a reminder that when you reach for the stars, anything is possible.