Scholar Honors

Solana Beach scholar accepted to UC Berkeley McNair Scholars Program

Posted by on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 0:55 - 0 Comments

A Solana Beach scholar and native of Oaxaca, Mexico, has earned a place in the prestigious national Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program to advance her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley.

Karla “Ranger” Trujillo, former program and marketing director for La Colonia de Eden Gardens, Inc., will complete and publish independent research as a McNair Scholar ahead of her anticipated graduation from Berkeley in 2022. The award will help Trujillo move toward earning a master’s degree and ultimately a doctoral degree in education. 

The advanced degrees will complement Trujillo’s work as an anthropologist during the past 20 years.

In addition to her undergraduate studies, Trujillo serves at Berkeley’s statewide office for the University Community Links Network.

In Solana Beach, Trujillo partnered with La Colonia de Eden Gardens, Inc. to create Teenology Rangers, a youth and family leadership program based on science, art and nature.

“Her leadership, energy, enthusiasm, creativity, ethics and values have helped us to serve our community in a more significant and meaningful way,” said President Manny Aguilar. “She promotes trust with our native community.”

As a child, Trujillo attended public schools in Carlsbad. Later, she earned associate’s degrees from MiraCosta College in anthropology and university studies. Her education began in a rural town in Oaxaca. At an early age, she developed a passion to unite and serve.

As a McNair Scholar, her research will focus on how to provide tools for youth and family members to better develop as healthy individuals despite trauma that may be suffered. Trujillo’s Teenology Rangers program has demonstrated the power of science, art and nature as tools to strengthen relationships and build identity.

Trujillo herself has persevered despite the challenges of her undocumented status during the past 28 years. She attributes her resilience to having become a master of delayed gratification.

“It has been difficult but if I can do it, anyone can,” Trujillo said. “It is our duty to reach for the stars in honor of Ronald B. McNair.”

Ronald E. McNair was an American NASA astronaut and physicist. After his death in the Challenger explosion in 1986, members of Congress provided funding for the Ronald B. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program to encourage students from underrepresented groups in fields of higher learning.

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~ The original story was posted on January 15, 2021 on