“Refused to Lose”: Jocelyn Perez ’14 Creates Scholarship Fund for SJND Students | Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School


“Refused to Lose”: Jocelyn Perez ’14 Creates Scholarship Fund for SJND Students

Inspired by her own experience, Jocelyn’s “Against All Odds Scholarship” supports students who are determined to succeed in the face of adversity.

Thank you to Jocelyn Perez ’14 who this year created The Jocelyn Perez '14 Against All Odds Scholarship to fund students like her, who despite facing significant personal, social or economic challenges, have the motivation to complete their high school education at SJND.

Jocelyn is currently pursuing her degree in health education at San Francisco State University while also interning at local education non-profit organization Portola Family Connection. In addition, Jocelyn works three jobs which help pay for her college education. Following graduation this spring, Jocelyn will join the Native American Health Center as a comprehensive perinatal health worker. While still a college student herself, Jocelyn approached SJND in hopes of supporting a current Pilot because of her own experience at 1011 Chestnut Street.

During her senior year at SJND, Jocelyn had a frightening encounter while working at her father's taco truck. One slow Saturday morning, two men held up the taco truck. In her and her father's defense, Jocelyn began a physical struggle with one of the two robbers, which resulted in him shooting her in the leg. Fortunately, she and her father both survived the attack, but she was forced to remain home from school for one month to heal her leg. Her most poignant memory from high school was how all of her classmates and teachers rallied around her and helped her recover both physically and mentally when she returned to school. She says it "felt like family." Jocelyn persevered through the rest of her senior year and graduated with plans to study nursing at SFSU.

Because of her determined spirit and constant smile on her face, Mr. Lippi awarded Jocelyn with the Refuse to Lose Award during the 2014 Senior Awards Assembly. Jocelyn and her family sometimes struggled to pay the tuition at SJND, yet she feels blessed to have attended. As a result of her experience, Jocelyn was inspired to create the Against All Odds Scholarship to support another student in need who has exceptional drive to succeed at SJND.

This spring, Jocelyn returned to SJND to honor the first recipient of the Against All Odds Scholarship, rising freshman Margaret Moa ’22, who has overcome tragedy in her personal life and continues to excel academically.

Interested in starting a scholarship fund to support a current SJND student? Contact Mollie McFarland, Assistant Principal of Institutional Advancement, at 510-995-9456, mmcfarland@sjnd.org to learn more.