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José Flores Velázquez Memorial Cal-Bridge Scholarship

José Flores Velázquez Memorial Cal-Bridge Scholarship Image
Raised toward our $50,000 Goal
139 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on June 30, at 11:59 PM PDT
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José Flores Velázquez Memorial Cal-Bridge Scholarship

The José Flores Velázquez Memorial Cal-Bridge Scholarship Fund honors the life of José Flores Velázquez, a promising UC Irvine PhD student in astrophysics and Cal-Bridge Scholar who was tragically killed last year in a senseless, unprovoked shooting while delivering gifts for a friend's baby shower. The baby's father, José's friend, was also killed.

About the Scholarship

The scholarship fund will benefit students like José at CSU campuses across the state who have a similar dream of obtaining a PhD in physics or astronomy. The initial focus of the scholarship will be on students who do not currently qualify for aid under the terms of the NSF grant that funds Cal-Bridge, namely students who are AB540 eligible. Every dollar donated will help such students support themselves as they pursue their dreams.

About Cal-Bridge

The Cal-Bridge program is a partnership between the University of California and the California State University systems with the mission of creating opportunities for traditionally underrepresented groups to participate and advance in physics and astronomy, and of increasing their numbers in PhD programs in those fields. In six years, a total of 99 scholars have been selected: 70% are underrepresented minorities (URM) and 44% are women, including 22% URM women. Of the 33 scholars who have graduated with a BS and applied to graduate school, 27 (82%) have matriculated to a PhD program. Another 25 scholars are applying to PhD programs this year.

About José

José graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics. He matriculated that fall to the UC Irvine (UCI) astrophysics PhD program where he was thriving and progressing towards his degree. José was a gifted student and astronomer and the field will be sadly deprived of the contributions he would have made. Upon his death, UCI posthumously awarded him a Master of Science degree.

José became a Cal-Bridge Scholar in 2016 and received financial and other support from the program to help him pursue his dream of obtaining a PhD in astrophysics. As José wrote in his Cal-Bridge biography:

"In the fall of 2016 I received the NSF funded Cal-Bridge scholarship which funds me up to $10,000 for the school year. This program was great because it allowed me to quit my job as a McDonald's manager and focus on my studies. Cal-Bridge also offered the support of mentors who tremendously helped me with REU, graduate school, and NSF-GRFP applications....As a first generation Latinx student pursuing a PhD, having a support network who look like me, understand and have gone through a similar path was a huge bonus. Thanks to these students and their support, my current department at UCI feels like I am home. Today, I am committed to obtain my PhD and eventually become a tenured astronomy professor at a top university." 

The photo above shows José (center) surrounded by some of his fellow UCI Cal-Bridge Scholars.


All donations to this scholarship are tax deductible. The scholarship account is held in the Cal Poly Pomona Philanthropic Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public benefit organization (Federal ID 83-2300241).


Choose a giving level


New Beginnings

Join us and celebrate the founding year of the José Flores Velázquez Memorial Cal-Bridge Scholarship with a gift of $20.20!


2 Weeks of Groceries

The Basic Needs Initiative at Cal Poly Pomona estimates that students spend about $9 per day on groceries. A gift of $125 would help one Cal Bridge Scholar pay for about two weeks of meals and other necessities.


A Dollar a Day

Help us start the first year of the José Flores Velázquez Memorial Cal-Bridge Scholarship strong with a gift of $365.


Give the Gift of time

The purpose of this scholarship is to help Cal Bridge Scholars minimize the time they spend at part time jobs so they can maximize the time they spend focusing on their studies. $750 is the equivalent of nearly 70 hours of minimum wage work.


Room and Board

The estimated annual room and board cost for an undergraduate at Cal Poly Pomona is $16,742. A gift at this level would provide a little over a full month of room and board for a Cal Bridge Scholar.


One Semester's Tuition

Undergraduate Tuition at Cal Poly Pomona is about $7,396 per year. So a gift at this level would almost completely fund a Cal Bridge Scholar's tuition expenses for a full semester.

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