Equipped to Lead and Succeed

Meet Arturo Paredes ‘25

Dean's Scholarship Recipient

Where are you from and what is your background?
I am born and raised in San Francisco. I was raised in the southeast side in the city, which is historically known to be a low-income area. I took part in a program called College Track San Francisco, which helps students from low-income backgrounds achieve their dreams of going to college. Throughout my academic journey many teachers and staff members doubted me. In high school I remember one teacher calling my parents telling them they didn't raise me well. One of the staff members even doubted that I would graduate high school. I ended up getting my degree in Anthropology and a minor in Political Science at San Jose State University. Throughout my life I have been dealing with the pressure of representing my community.

Why did you apply for this graduate program and decide to study at USF?
I applied to the Master of International Studies program because I want to solve poverty in economically powerful cities. After undergrad I worked at College Track San Francisco for a year. Not only did I personally experience being low-income growing up, but I also witnessed how poverty impacted the lives of my students in negative ways. Mental health, economic well-being, and physical health effected them in negative ways. By analyzing and finding ways to solve poverty in economically powerful cities, I hope to solve poverty not just in San Francisco, but all over the world.

What impacts has the Dean's Scholarship had on your ability to further your studies?
The Dean’s Scholarship has provided me with a financial safety net. Our family is in debt after buying our childhood home in San Francisco. Because of that, the only thing preventing me from choosing USF was the financials. Upon hearing that I got the Dean’s Scholarship my family and I felt at-ease choosing USF over all other schools.

What are your career ambitions?
I want to work in an international organization that focuses on abolishing poverty. At the moment, I'm interested in becoming a journalist focused on the impoverished areas of economically powerful cities. I want spread the word of organizations that tackle this issue.

What is something unique or interesting about you?
I was involved in local activism ever since I was a baby. My parents took me in a baby stroller during a march for immigrant rights. During high school I was involved in local protests during the No Dakota Access Pipeline (NoDAPL) movement. In 2022-23 I worked at the California Academy of Science and helped gather signatures from other Educators-in-Training to help form a union.


The Dean’s Scholarship recognizes a select group of incoming students in graduate programs, who the admission committees believe will make a substantial contribution to the programs. Recipients are selected based on merit. To be considered for the Dean's Scholarship, students must apply to their program by the program's priority deadline.

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