Stephany heads to Harvard

Stephany Gutierrez, Santa Ana High School & Project Youth OCBF
Higher Education Mentoring Program Graduate
Class of 2021, Harvard University


Stephany applied to twenty-three colleges and universities, receiving acceptance letters from flagship public universities, highly competitive colleges, and four Ivy Leagues. She will be attending Harvard University, exploring her interests in the Humanities with a pre-law track. Her lifelong mission is to work for the ACLU and serve her community as a pro-bono attorney. She is excited to delve into a new environment and explore the Cambridge area.


Stephany is thankful for her Project Youth OCBF’s Higher Education Mentoring Program experience. She stated, “Attending monthly workshops about important topics like mental health awareness and finances allowed me to learn essential life skills. Additionally, being able to meet like-minded individuals who face similar challenges was encouraging as I was not going through the process of applying to colleges alone. Both my mentors have been great resources these past two years. My mentor last year was an alumna from my high school’s tennis and mock trial teams. Having so much in common made it extremely easy to talk to her and tell her about my worries about school or any trouble I was having at home. My current mentor is a recent graduate and is currently going through the process of applying to law schools. Seeing her go through the process has been helpful and motivating, as I too will be doing that in a couple of years.”


Stephany also participated in Project Youth OCBF’s Project Self Program this past summer at Crowell & Moring LLP. In Stephany’s words, “My summer at Crowell & Moring reminded me why I want to pursue law. Genuine friendliness, empathy, and patience are common traits at the firm. I am very thankful that I had this experience.”

Joshua Gagnier, Physics Teacher at Santa Ana High School, described Stephany as “She collaborates effectively, builds confidence in her peers, and has an aura that drives others around her to improve. Sewn-in everything she does is a high level of empathy and a desire to make a difference. Stephany doesn’t just involve herself in a bunch of places, but rather makes an impact and leaves a positive mark in her countless involvements.”

Stephany was highly involved while at Santa Ana High School. To name a few, she was involved in the girls’ varsity tennis team, the president of Connect4Cancer, Vice-President of Key Club, and part of the Elizabeth G. Macias Legal Studies Academy. We are so excited for Stephany’s promising future and so proud she is a part of Project Youth OCBF. She is reminder to all of us how important it is to invest in today’s youth.