José Soto



Sonoma State University, 2018
Major: Music Education

The support of 10,000 Degrees changed my life and the future of my family. I was awarded one of the most amazing scholarships, the Flora de Mayo, which supported my financial educational needs from beginning to the end, but also made me believe that people still exist who believe that art is important for humans, just like I do. Being the first generation in my family attending college was not easy, but it was all possible with the help of my 10,000 Degrees mentors, who were there for me all the time. I will always be ONE DEGREE and I can’t wait until I get to support the dream of a new student. Today, I get to work as the Music Specialist at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, where I get to teach music to close to 100 kids from all around Sonoma County. I lead the youth Mariachi Ensemble, “Mariachi Cantares de mi Tierra”. The Ensemble was part of my vision– to provide a place for young Latinx folks to connect with their culture while experiencing the transformative power of music. The students learn critical social and emotional skills, including perseverance, leadership, cooperation, and collaboration in addition to technique, musicianship, and stage presence through the lens of mariachi. That was one of my dreams in life and I got there with the support from 10,000 Degrees.