Stephen Mendoza

2016 Donald Edward Bragg & Diane Sims Bragg Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Stephen Mendoza was born in Santa Ana, California and is of Mexican descent, a trait that he takes great pride in. Since high school, Stephen has enjoyed studying economic theory, evaluating business plans, and reading autobiographies of successful business leaders. Throughout academia, Stephen’s favorite subjects were Art and Economics. Both these subjects are often seen as completely different, but to Stephen, they are exactly the same. They both answer the most important question, “Why do we see the world the way we see it?” Art provides us with a lens in which we may view the world, and Economics provides a toolset in which we can analyze the world and the allocation of its resources. Combined, Economics is the art in which we make the most out of our lives. Currently, Stephen studies Business Economics with a focus on Entrepreneurship, and he likes to study art on his free time. Stephen is very passionate about community involvement and poverty alleviation, and this is evident in his leadership roles in organizations like Furnish the Homeless, Moneythink, and the Youth Movement Against Alzheimer’s. Away from school, Stephen likes to read and enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle.

Future Plans: Stephens approach to academics throughout his career at UCLA has been to learn as much as he could, as quickly as he could, from as many people as he could. As such, Stephen plans to graduate one year early, in the spring of 2017. This summer, he will be working under the Global Treasury Management department for JP Morgan in New York City. In this internship, he will be able to apply his technical knowledge and contribute to a growing practice that is at the heart of international finance.  In the future, Stephen plans to focus on entrepreneurship and philanthropy, as he aims to start his own business and give back to his community.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: I am extremely grateful to be receiving the Donald Edward Bragg & Diane Sims Bragg Scholarship. As both of my parents approach retirement, sources of income are very limited for my family, and this scholarship will help alleviate some of the financial burdens that my family has been dealing with. Graduating a year early is also a result of my attempt to minimize my yearly cost expenditure. Most importantly, knowing that there are people out there that believe in me and support my academic mission adds reassurance and unparalleled motivation for me to push towards reaching my goals.