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Spotlight On: Indio’s University Legacy Scholars

The Palm Desert Campus of California State University - San Bernardino (CSUSB) has launched a new scholarship program called the University Legacy Scholars. This program offers the top students in the Coachella Valley the opportunity to stay in the Valley to receive their undergraduate degree, with tuition and fees covered by generous donations by gracious supporters.

In its inaugural year, five local students received this scholarship – which recognizes academic excellence, leadership potential and a commitment to community service. Two of the 5 students are from the City of Indio. Get to know these two outstanding students representing our community:

Maria Morales 

Maria is the daughter of Agustina and Reymundo Morales. She graduated from Shadow Hills High School in Indio with a 4.6 GPA.

“I love that all my family is in Indio,” said Morales. “I will continue to live with my parents throughout my college career in Indio.”

Maria was in AVID all 4 years of high school, which is a college preparation class. She has also volunteered at her church.

In her sophomore year of high school, Maria went on a field trip with AVID to the CSUSB Palm Desert campus and loved that it was so small and intimate. She remembers the tour guide saying, "If you want to get in and out of school without many distractions, then CSUSB Palm Desert is the campus for you."

Maria is a Pre-Nursing major and strives to become a Labor and Delivery Nurse at a local hospital.

“Being a University Legacy Scholar recipient feels like an absolute blessing,” added Morales. “It honestly hasn't really settled in for me yet. I never thought I could receive such a prestigious award.”


Stephanee Sandoval

Stephanee is the daughter of Silvia and Salvador Sandoval. She graduated from Indio High School with a 4.7 GPA.

“What I love most about Indio are the relationships I’ve made here,” said Sandoval. “We supported each other to pursue our dreams and ambitions. We were there for each other when times were tough. Words cannot describe how much my friends and family mean to me.”

Stephanee was involved with the Indio Health and Nutrition Sciences Academy her entire high school experience. Here, she was exposed to a myriad of possible health careers.

It was CSUSB’s focus on community service that inspired Stephanee most about the college. It is important for her to give back to the community that made her become the person she is today.

Stephanee will continue to live in Indio while she attends CSUSB, where she will major in Biology. After she graduates, she plans to go to medical school to become a physician.

“Receiving the honor of being named a University Legacy Scholar is still surreal to me,” added Sandoval. “My family and I are incredibly humbled. I will not throw away my shot and will take full advantage of the opportunities given to me to make an impact in my community and the world.”


For more information on CSUSB Palm Desert, visit, or call (760) 341-2883. The campus is located at 37-500 Cook Street in Palm Desert.