Ceres High School student-athlete Bianca De Los Reyes realized a lifelong dream on Dec. 10 when she received an acceptance letter from Stanford University.
“It’s definitely one of the most exciting moments of my life,” she said. “Stanford has always been the goal for as long as I can remember. I’m super happy.”
De Los Reyes didn’t expect to hear back from Stanford so soon. She was surrounded by family, including mother Maria and sisters Tatiana (17), Alexia (18) and Jasmine (23).
“I thought it was an update email,” she stated. “I didn’t know it was an acceptance letter. Confetti came up on the screen and it said congratulations. I wouldn’t say I was surprised. That’s not the right word. My hard work paid off. Everything I’ve received I’ve earned.”
De Los Reyes beat the odds as Stanford has an acceptance rate of just 4 percent.
“My essays and application got me accepted,” she said.
De Los Reyes visited the campus during her junior year.
“It reinforced my decision to go to Stanford even more,” said Reyes, who also applied to USC, UCLA, UC Davis and UC Irvine. “It’s beautiful there. Stanford is a prestigious school.”
De Los Reyes, who was raised in a single-parent household, will be a second-generation college student.
“My mother went to night school to finish her (business) degree while raising four daughters,” she said. “She’s been a huge role model in my life. She’s taught me work ethic and commitment.
“My father (Andrew) is an inspiration, too,” De Los Reyes added. “Growing up, he was poor and didn’t have that much. That took him down the wrong road. He dropped out of high school. He’s always taught us to do better in life and pursue a higher education.”
De Los Reyes had a cumulative grade-point average of 4.6 when she applied to Stanford.
“As of right now, I’m first in my class,” said De Los Reyes, who’s on track to become the school’s valedictorian. “It wasn’t a goal I pushed for. It just happened. If I didn’t get it, I’d be alright because I got into Stanford.”
De Los Reyes has passed six Advanced Placement tests.
She’ll take three more AP exams in May.
“I learned early on how to manage both school and sports,” she said. “At first, it was a challenge.”
De Los Reyes has been a member of Ceres High’s varsity track and field program since the ninth grade.
She was named team captain last season.
She played two seasons of lower-level volleyball.
“I love playing sports as well as leadership,” she said. “I’ve been class president and in leadership for the past four years.”
De Los Reyes is vice president of school’s California Scholarship Federation and Science Club.
She’s also secretary of the Future Medical Professionals Club.
Reyes founded the Bulldog Closet Program at Ceres High during the 2019-20 school year.
Three teachers, Mr. Gerads, Mr. Marcel and Mrs. Grant, provided assistance.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without their help,” she said. “I’ve had a big support system between family, teachers and coaches.”
The program provides free clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets and athletic wear, and shoes, to students.
“Right now, it’s up and running,” Reyes said. “It’s open to the whole school. They can make an appointment to go to the Dog House and pick up whatever they need. The donations are from students and members of the community. I’m hoping soon to make it district-wide to help junior high and elementary students once we work out the kinks at our own school.”
De Los Reyes will enroll at Stanford next fall.
“I’m excited I get to pursue my education at a wonderful school and explore what’s out of Ceres,” she said.
De Los Reyes will major in biology.
“Getting my degree from Stanford can possibly take me to any medical school in the country,” she said. “That’s part of the reason I chose Stanford. I want to become a pediatrician because of my youngest sister.”
Eight-year-old Zoe has Cerebral palsy.
“I’ve gone to her doctor’s appointments,” De Los Reyes said. “She constantly needs physical therapy. She wears braces on her legs to help her walk. That’s motivated and inspired me.”