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Student Profiles

Christopher A. Reyes, Class of 2023, SCF Recipient
Christopher Arellano Reyes

Biology Major, Chemistry Minor, Class of 2023

Using his Santa Clara education to pursue medicine and give back to the community he grew up in. 

Minutes after his organic chemistry final, Christopher takes some precious free time to talk about his experience this last year and as a Bronco in general. “It was nice to spend spring and fall quarter at home,” he says, but now he is really hoping to be back on campus. In addition to being a teacher’s assistant in general chemistry, Christopher received a research position with one of his biology instructors from last quarter. He adds, “She's trying her hardest to figure out how to get us back into the lab.” As a biology major with a chemistry minor, access to the labs is essential for this ambitious sophomore. After all, he has admirable goals to become a surgeon one day. He is even hoping to volunteer this summer at a hospital, shadowing physicians or even just doing general research.  

Christopher is quick to point out that none of this would have been possible without the financial assistance of generous benefactors, including thoughtful Santa Clara Fund donors. He adds, “Without them, I would not have these incredible experiences and I'm very grateful for that.”

As part of the LEAD Scholars Program, which assists first-generation college students through their academic career, Christopher admits he had an unconventional introduction to Santa Clara—he came here by means of Mariachi. He elaborates, “I was part of a Mariachi ensemble and we had a wedding reception in the Mission Gardens. It was our first time being at Santa Clara University. When we stepped onto campus, it was beautiful. Just walking through it, just walking toward the church, I admired all the fountains and the green grass everywhere.”

So, when it was time to decide on college, he had Santa Clara in his sights. But this only became a reality for Christopher thanks to your support. He adds, “Going into the future, your investment toward my education will hopefully help other individuals too.” While pursuing his surgical pathway, he wants to give back to the community he grew up in. Christopher explains, “There is the other side of research within the public health perspective. Specifically, because I'm Latino and Hispanic, I know Latino, Hispanic communities are struggling due to less adequate healthcare access.” He aims to be a part of the solution.

For now, Christopher is relishing the time he has as a Bronco. He has made amazing friends, especially with his fellow LEAD Scholars. And while he is thoroughly enjoying his chemistry classes and looks forward to making use of the brand-new STEM building, he was a bit surprised to discover and really appreciate other subjects as well. He took a religion course that used his critical thinking skills to, “analyze the scriptures and become more reflective, which really broadened my spectrum of critical analysis”. It’s this well-rounded approach and care for the whole person principle of a Santa Clara Jesuit education that resonates with Christopher. He will carry it with him as he goes on to care for others.

-Carrie Jensen