Los Angeles teen, who came to U.S. at age 5, accepted to 11 colleges

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A Baldwin Park High School student, who came to the U.S. at the age of 5 when his family fled violence in El Salvador, has been accepted to 11 colleges. (KABC)

Cesar Arevalo was just 5 years old when he and his family came to the United States.

He couldn't speak a word of English, but that changed quickly.

"By the end of that year actually, I competed in the spelling bee and got third place," Cesar said.

Cesar's hard work and love for reaching goals has paid off. The teen is in the top of his class at Los Angeles' Baldwin Park High School.

He's received letters of acceptance from 11 colleges, including six Ivy League schools.

"They just kept rolling in. Then the UCs came in and then Stanford came in, and that one was the biggest shock because their acceptance rate is incredibly low," Cesar said. "That was pretty incredible to find out I'd been accepted to all of them."

Cesar's parents left the violence in El Salvador in 2003. With help from relatives, they moved to the U.S. with their three children as legal immigrants.

Their two older children were also academic standouts. Both graduated from UC Berkeley.

"(I'm) so glad we had the opportunity to come to this nation and so great that our children have achieved so much. We're so proud of them," said father Cesar Arevalo Sr.

The family is grateful for the opportunities that have come with life in this country, and they say they have been disturbed by some of the views expressed during the presidential campaign regarding immigration.

"Honestly, I believe that everybody deserves the right to be part of this," Cesar Arevalo Sr. said.

Cesar has big plans for the future.

"The goal is to have my own company where I can set up a scholarship fund and make a difference in my community and come back and inspire kids to do the same."
Related Topics:
educationimmigrationschoolcollegeu.s. & world

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