3 Santa Ana High School Seniors Headed To Harvard In The Fall

Three Santa Ana High School seniors will be leaving the warmth of Southern California for the brisk winds of Cambridge, Massachusetts this fall when they embark on their next chapter as students at Harvard University.

Video Transcript

- 4:30, a jump for joy and screams of excitement as three students from one local high school get accepted into Ivy League schools. Santa Ana High School has only had six students accepted into Harvard in its 132 year history, and three of those students are in the current graduating class.

- So incredible. KCAL 9 Orange County reporter Michelle Gile spoke with all three about their elite accomplishments.


- Santa Ana High School senior Stephany Gutierrez still hasn't let Harvard University know she's accepting the offer to attend in the fall, but just a little secret. The 18-year-old will say, yes, later today, or tomorrow morning.

STEPHANY GUTIERREZ: It's like an hour or two for the news to settle in. I was in disbelief. I was like, wait, actually, let me go back and read all of it. Maybe I missed a part. Yeah, it's starting to settle in, but very exciting.

- She is one of three Santa Ana seniors to nab a coveted spot at the Ivy League school. Oziel Flores has made his decision between Princeton and Harvard.

OZIEL FLORES: I've actually been struggling with sleep the past few days trying to stay asleep, because I don't know. I feel like the last few days have been very exciting, and I'm pretty sure the next couple of months going into Harvard are going to be very exciting as well.

- The class of 2021 valedictorian Cielo Echegoyen applied early decision to Harvard and was accepted. This is a teen who doesn't own her own computer and who saluted the librarians, who gave her snacks as she studied late into the evening.

CIELO ECHEGOYEN: I'd get out of school, and I'd walk to the public library that's a few streets down. Because my wi-fi always cuts off at home, so I'd use my Chromebook that the school gave me on the Santa Ana Public Library's wi-fi. And I'd stay there, until they'd kicked me out at 9:00 PM when they closed.

- But it takes more than grades to get into Harvard, according to their mentor.

GLORIA MONTIEL-ITZEL: I think it's a commitment to something other than themselves. And I think all three of them, in different ways, have really shown that they care more about their community, their school, and making things better for others. And I think that's something that Harvard really loves.

- Harvard class of 2025.

- In Santa Ana, Michelle Gile, KCAL 9 News.