Faces of 2014 Graduates: Scavenger to Scholar

The same day that Ana Caudillo became a U.S. resident, she became a UNC Bear. Originally from Juarez, Mexico, Caudillo's family came to Greeley in 2003 searching for a better life. During her childhood, Caudillo recounted that she and her family scavenged behind UNC's dorms in search of aluminum cans to sell for money.

Despite these challenges, Caudillo remained determined to go to college, though as an undocumented student, college did not seem like a realistic goal to her. While in high school, she took college-level math courses at UNC and it made her even more resolute to pursue her dreams of college.

"Each time I sat in calculus II as a high school student next to the real college kids, I became more inspired to do whatever it took to make it to college," Caudillo said.

Caudillo graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology. She has been accepted into a master's program this fall. While at UNC, she has been a McNair Scholar, participated in the pre-health club, and is currently conducting venom research of the Yucatan Rattlesnake, where her findings may help improve therapeutics. She has presented her research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Kentucky.