Meet Our Scholars
University of Southern California
Applied and Computational Mathematics
McCray & Rudman Scholarship
Anthony Pacheco was born in Palm Springs, California and raised in Cathedral City, where home was the desert landscape, high temperatures, and swaying palm trees. He began dancing at the age of six in styles that include ballet, contemporary, and hip-hop and continued throughout high school. However, once he joined the Cathedral City High School Dance Team, Anthony realized that being a male dancer was going to be difficult. He was shocked to see that he was the team’s only male member, and soon realized why: students at his school viewed him as “different.” They believed that men belonged on a field, not on the stage. Although he faced ridicule for being a male in tights, the combination of being a dancer, Hispanic, Roman-Catholic, and gay proved to be his toughest challenge. He quickly saw the hostility in the world and realized that if he wanted to find acceptance for LGBTQ+ students like himself, he was going to need to produce change; and so he did. Anthony joined the LGBTQ+ Suicide Bullying Prevention Program of the Desert and presented to the student body about LGBTQ+ awareness, suicide prevention, cyberbullying, and the power of words. He also utilized his dance community to emphasize the importance of individuality. Anthony is eager to continue his studies at the University of Southern California in Applied and Computational Mathematics, as well as use his voice to empower Hispanic, LGBTQ+ youth and educate the world about LGBTQ+ equality and safety.