Esther Ceballo Ortiz

Stanford University
Class of 2026

Esther stood in front of a building crowded with excited students running around for the first day of school. She could hear them as she entered the hallways, but the words fluttered into the air too quickly. Before she transitioned to the United States, Esther had a school community that supported and ensured her that she had all the tools to succeed. Her main goal was to find a similar sense of home again in her new country of residence. Esther is a resourceful, tenacious, and passionate young woman who believes that all students, despite their socioeconomic status, should have a fair chance to meet their educational goals. As she transitioned from middle to high school while learning English, she noticed that ninth-graders received little mentorship and guidance regarding the high school experience. Students were missing out on multiple enrichment opportunities because of lack of communication. Her personal experiences led her to create Project F.R.E.S.H. (Freshmen Ready for Excellence in High School), a mentoring program that aims to support and guide 9th-grade students in that transition. Esther held multiple workshops where students learned about over 150 different resources and opportunities to enhance their high school experience such as AP, IB, Honors, pathways, virtual volunteering, internships, summer programs, and mental health strategies. She graduated top 5% of her class of over 500 students, is an IB Diploma Candidate, and a Talented and Gifted Student. One of her most significant accomplishments is becoming bilingual at age 14.

Leadership:

  • National Honor Society, Vice President 
  • HOSA – Future Health Professionals, Fundraising Committee Member
  • Project F.R.E.S.H, Founder