California State University, Stanislaus chemistry student Jose Godinez has certainly come a long way since his childhood in Jalisco, Mexico.
Godinez, who moved to the United States with his family five years ago, was recently selected as a 2015 recipient of the California State University Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement, a $6,000 award that identifies the student as a Randolph Hearst scholar.
He was one of 23 students at each one of the CSU campuses to receive the award, which recognizes students for demonstrating superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need.
“This award means a new opportunity. It is a new push for me to continue further with my goals and my career,” said Godinez. “I feel honored to obtain this award.”
Godinez was born in La Barca, Jalisco, which is a small city in Mexico; however, he said that he spent most of early life in another city, Ocotlan, Jalisco. Godinez said that he was born into a middle class family, which he described as “not in total poverty, but not privileged either.”
Things took a turn for the worse for Godinez and his family when his dad lost his job in the mid-1990s. Although Godinez said that his dad still sought out temporary jobs that were available, his brother moved to the United States to help the family out financially and his mom began to sell snacks on the street.
Eventually his parents decided to relocate the family to the United States in 2010 in hopes of finding a better future for their children.
“They did all of it just to offer us the best education they could,” said Godinez. “I think they gave a perfect example of perseverance and effort. I learned a lot from my family.”
“I will make sure their investments are paid off with my efforts and service to the community,” added Godinez.
Godinez said his interest in chemistry was initially sparked by a great curiosity and hunger for knowledge that spans back to his childhood.
“I loved to make experiments at home. I loved the idea of feeling like an actual scientist, making great discoveries and helping people,” said Godinez.
However, Godinez said his most memorable experience that “paved the way to this career” was when he went on a school trip to the regional center, which is part of the University of Guadalajara, where he explored chemistry laboratories and participated in several experiments.
“That was the time I said to myself, ‘I want to do this in my life,’” said Godinez.
Upon receiving his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Godinez said that he wants to start working in the educational field as a chemistry professor at a university and researcher who focuses on green energy. He also said that he aspires to start working on research that is related to the use of nuclear energy and chemistry.
“In other words, I want to offer my services to the community and those who had invested in me so much,” said Godinez. “I have always wanted to give my community back something important that will benefit them.”