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Fiesta de las Estrellas Celebrates Student ‘Stars’ and Community Leader Sal Saucedo

Created: 20 April, 2012
Updated: 26 July, 2022
3 min read
George Santellano

The 15th annual Fiesta de las Estrellas—a “celebration of the stars” hosted by the University of California, San Diego’s Hispanic Scholarship Council—raising much-needed scholarship funding for ambitious and motivated UC San Diego students has, since its founding 15 years ago, raised more than $1 million for undergraduate scholarships to help ensure that students from all backgrounds can access a world-class UC San Diego education.

“Access to education is important to us at UC San Diego, and it is the mission of the Hispanic Scholarship Council,” said Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. “We thank our generous supporters for providing undergraduate scholarship funds for promising and deserving students. By investing in scholarships, you are investing in our youth and their future.”

This year’s event honored the students who have received prestigious Hispanic Scholarship Council scholarships, as well as one man who has played an integral role in the success of the scholarship fundraiser, Sal Saucedo. A proud UC San Diego parent, Saucedo has served since 1997 on the UC San Diego Hispanic Scholarship Council, which has benefited nearly 80 outstanding students—like George Santellano, who will graduate in 2013.

Santellano is a mathematics major at UC San Diego. He plans to use his skills in finance and accounting to start a foundation that provides scholarships for low-income students from Southeast San Diego, where he grew up.

“I come from a blue-collar background,” said Santellano. “My parents both immigrated to San Diego from Mexico in the early 1980s, and eventually raised a family. My parents always stressed the importance of school.”

Santellano is grateful to his parents for helping him “make it” to UC San Diego, yet it was scholarship support that made his dream of attending the campus a reality. “Without scholarships, I would not be able to afford school and my potential would never have been tested,” said Santellano. “My scholarship has helped ease the financial burden on my parents who are not able to contribute financially.”

Santellano is the recipient of the Jack in the Box Preuss Scholarship, which was established with The Jack in the Box Foundation’s sponsorship of Fiesta de las Estrellas. The scholarship was established to provide funding for UC San Diego students who graduated from The Preuss School UCSD, a charter middle and high school on the UC San Diego campus for motivated, low-income students whose parents have not graduated from college.

“At Jack in the Box, we believe that scholarships are an investment in the leaders and innovators of tomorrow,” said Brian Luscomb, president of The Jack in the Box Foundation. “We congratulate all of the scholarship recipients honored at Fiesta de las Estrellas. Many have overcome challenges to attend UC San Diego. We are truly inspired by the hard work and perseverance of these students.”

Santellano continued: “Contributions to scholarships give students who would not otherwise be able to afford tuition a chance to live their dream of attending UC San Diego. I thank you for making my dreams come true.”

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Funds raised as part of Fiesta de las Estrellas contribute to UC San Diego’s $50 million student support campaign, Invent the Future. Fiesta de las Estrellas took place on April 18 in the International House Great Hall on the UC San Diego campus. To make a scholarship gift, please visit or call (858) 822-1537.

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