Every year here in the state of California, the California State University Board of Trustees meets to announce their awards for outstanding achievement. This year Sonoma State Graduate Anthony Tercero was given one of the 23 awards that we handed out this past Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the ceremony held in Long Beach, California.
Tercero graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from Sonoma State University in Molecular Cellular Biology and is currently pursuing his Master's Degree in Biology from the University of California Davis. And through his entire pursuit of higher education has maintained a remarkable 4.0 college GPA.
Tercero was given the award for overcoming serious life adversity in search of meeting his higher scholastic aspirations.
"It took me years and a lot of failures to get to where I am now," said Tercero in an interview at the award ceremony.
Along with the prestigious award, Anthony was also the recipient of the Wells Fargo Veteran Scholarship. Which, according to the Wells Fargo Scholarship webpage, is awarded to military veterans to "help assist veterans complete education programs to help them return to, and succeed in the modern competitive job market."
Tercero has leaped passed many hurdles in his life to get where he is now.
Shortly after graduating from high school, the then 17-year-old Tercero made the courageous decision to enlist in the United States Army. Where during his first deployment he was stationed in the Middle East and faced many challenges, such as a constant stream of mortar barrages and enemy fire.
And following his first tour on active duty, Tecero returned home only to be faced with further adversity back on the home front. As shortly after his return home, most of his goods and personal property would be destroyed in the tragic 2010 San Bruno Pipeline explosion, which sadly took the lives of 8 people and burned down more than 35 houses and other structures in the surrounding area.
After this tragic event, Tercero opted to re-enlist in the Army where he was again deployed, this time, however, to South Korea where he worked as an intelligence analyst where he was responsible for processing incoming reports, and in turn determine the overall accuracy of the information he and his unit were receiving.
Following his second deployment and eight years of proud military service, Anthony decided it was time to move onto a new chapter of his life. He enrolled at Sonoma State University where he was a model student in the classroom and made the most of his opportunities by participating in programs such as the National Science Foundation, where he helped conduct research in New England and Canada studying marine muscles that were local to the surrounding area.
Praise came Anthony's way from the highest of ranks here at Sonoma State University, as Sonoma State President Judy Sakaki, who was there in Long Beach to present the award, said: "We are so proud of Anthony, he has accomplished so much because he took full advantage of the many opportunities that were available to him."
Anthony continues to shoot higher as after completing his master's degree, as he plans to return to UC Davis and pursue his Ph.D. in Biology.
Anthony's path has been far from ordinary, but the experiences he's had in his young life has been for the better in his mind, as he said in a recent interview with the California State University Board of Trustees: "Hard work and dedication are worth more than being at the right place at the right time."