College graduate Sandra Roksic is focused on the road ahead, with a goal of developing self-driving vehicles trusted by their drivers – and pedestrians.
“It was my dream to come here and do this,” says Sandra, who graduated in the spring with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Cal Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.
Achieving her dream required commitment, focus and hard work – in the classroom and in the workforce. Along with her demanding full-load class schedule, Sandra often worked two jobs to help pay for school and, like 70% of students nationwide, she also relied on student loans.
But the burden has been made a bit easier, thanks to the J.B. Brown Fund. Sandra learned about the JB Brown Fund college scholarship from the community manager at Rancho Carrillo Apartments in Carlsbad, where her family has lived since she was in the sixth grade. The $2,800 scholarship helped Sandra earn her degree.
Now, she has started on her master’s degree in electrical engineering from Cal Poly-SLO. Sandra, who is busy with an internship this summer and will teach a class at the university this fall semester, expects to earn her master’s degree in June 2021.
Then, she would like to join an automaker like Volkswagen AG that is leading the way on autonomous vehicles. “There are so many exciting, interesting developments in the auto industry,” she says.
Her family – her parents and a teenage brother – encouraged Sandra to apply for college and pursue a degree in electrical engineering (she also earned a minor in math).
“My parents have made so many sacrifices for me,” says Sandra, who moved with her parents from Serbia to San Diego as a 4-year-old. Her parents looked for a good, safe community with excellent schools and found Carlsbad. The city and the apartment community “feel like home.”
And her “home” helped open the door to a college degree and new opportunities. The J.B. Brown Fund has awarded hundreds of college scholarships to residents living in USA Properties Fund apartment communities.
“I’m super grateful. I wouldn’t be here without the support and the belief of so many people,” she says. “They put their faith in me and what I can accomplish.”