|Jonathan Noriega Sandoval|
Jonathan Noriega Sandoval doesn’t want the journey to end. A Grossmont College scholar aiming to transfer to San Diego State University next fall, Noriega – brought without proper documentation across the border when he was a toddler – is protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a program that could be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in June.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case on Nov. 12.
“There is a lot of rhetoric going on right now about the DACA program,” Noriega said. “You hear people calling us ‘criminals,’ but you cannot be in DACA if you’re a criminal. We’re just trying to be the best we can, to contribute in a positive way. But I realize this is all out of my hands. You have to just go on about your day. I can’t let it get to my head too much. I can’t control what happens. What I can control is my work, helping my family, and doing well in school.”
Noriega has been doing well in school since he arrived at Grossmont College in spring 2017. His grade point average is 3.7, including three semesters of nothing but A’s on his transcripts. He’s also a student ambassador to area high schools while helping his parents care for two younger sisters.
His efforts this fall yielded a Griffin Award of Excellence from the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges. Noriega will be among the scores of students honored at a scholarship reception in January.