When Ashlyn Nunes graduated from Cordova High School in 2015 she decided to go to the lowest school on her list: U.C. Davis. It wasn’t Nunes’ first choice, but it certainly took her much further than Davis, CA. As a high schooler she had been involved in Student Government, she took AP courses, and she was full of Cordova spirit. She had applied to multiple UC’s, including UCLA and UCSD, as well as state colleges like Sonoma. When her results came in her top choice was CSU Sonoma, but the night of accepting her place in the school, she learned that she was admitted into an honors program at Davis. The offer would grant her more scholarships and give her motivation and requirements in school. Nunes’ decided to accept the offer, turning down Sonoma for small down Davis. As she had always been a city girl, Nunes’ wasn’t as thrilled as she thought she would be when she chose her soon to be college. Nevertheless, she set out with a positive, open mindset.
Early into her first year at UC Davis, Nunes realized that she wasn’t enjoying her classes, her mindset had turned negative, and she lacked motivation. So, she decided to take a trip to Europe with a group of friends, they traveled all over the area together, and then returned to school. But when Nunes’ was waiting at the airport for her plane, she researched studying abroad programs. She found herself one, called to see if she’d still be able to apply, and was told that the last day to submit papers was tomorrow. In a rush, she figured out where she wanted to go and applied to the program.
Sooner than later Nunes found herself in Italy, Africa, and Greece. The opportunity was that of a lifetime, she experienced cultures unlike that of America, and was exposed to more than she’d ever dream of. Nunes was able to go to school while traveling and afford the cost thanks to financial aid, which supported her greatly, she believes aid is out there for anyone, alongside hundreds of possible scholarships.
Looking in the future, Nunes wishes to move back to Rancho Cordova, hoping to help in growing the community and reputation. Although Nunes has traveled the world and lived in multiple continents, she remains to love her hometown. She says, “Rancho is so special to me, you’ll never beat the diversity you see here.” She states, “I want my kids to grow up somewhere they don’t know privilege, so they know hardships.”
From Rancho Cordova to Davis, to Italy, Ashlyn Nunes has experienced the world in many different ways, as she moves on in life she plans to continue this open mindset and help others in gaining one as well.
Pictures Courtesy of Ashlyn Nunes