General Info > News Releases > Archived Releases 2009/2010 > 2009-08-13: Paniagua siblings keep education a family affiar



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File: – Paniagua Siblings


Paniagua siblings keep education a family affair


Ukiah, CA – It is not uncommon to see family members grow up and become involved in the family business, but it is probably rare to see siblings taking the same educational path.  Mendocino College had four siblings from one family involved in the Summer Math Institute, which concluded this week.

Michel Paniagua, Marco Paniagua and twin brothers Jose and Guadalupe Paniagua are all pursuing the same educational field of mathematics since arriving in Ukiah from Santa Ana Maya, Mexico in October of 2000.

Jose, 24, graduated from Ukiah High School in 2004 and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from California State University, Sacramento in 2008.

Currently, Jose is pursuing a Masters in Quantitative and Computational Finance at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA.

According to Jose, he plans on either obtaining his PhD or working in the investment banking field after graduating.

Just like his brother, Guadalupe graduated from Ukiah High School in 2004 and is presently taking courses at California State University, Sacramento.  Guadalupe will graduate at the end of the upcoming fall semester and earn his Bachelor of Arts in Applied Mathematics and Statistics.

“I am planning on pursuing my Masters in Economics at Sacramento State and then work in banking or teaching at the two-year college level,” Guadalupe Paniagua said. 

Sister Michel graduated this past May from Mendocino College with a Associates Degree in Math.

After graduating from Ukiah High School in 2006, Michel got some family advice to attend Mendocino College rather than a four-year institute right away.

“She could have gone the four-year route right out of high school, but we all decided that she could get a great education at Mendocino College, for a much cheaper cost,” Guadalupe Paniagua said. 

Michel will attend California State University, Sacramento this fall and pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Applied Mathematics and Statistics.

According to Michel, after getting her Bachelor of Arts Degree, she wants to get her Masters at the University of California at Davis in Biostatistics. 

Marco just graduated from Ukiah High School and will be attending the University of California-Berkeley this fall. 

“I want to do something in the science field and will probably get my Bachelor of Science Degree in statistics and math.  I want to become a teacher someday, and hopefully I will be back at Mendocino College teaching,” Marco Paniagua said. 



            A number of factors led all four Paniagua siblings into the mathematics field.  One of the most influential is their ability to pick up math faster than any other subject when they arrived in Ukiah from Mexico.

            “Personally, since I grew up in Mexico and didn’t arrive in Ukiah until the 6th grade, math was easier to understand compared to the other subjects because English was not my first language,” Marco Paniagua said. 

            According to Guadalupe, the classes that made more sense to him were math, since it was more logical and there was no gray area.

            “When I started in high school math was easier to pick up.  With math you either get it or you don’t, and math has more to do with logic and I feel I am a logical person,” Guadalupe Paniagua said. 

            With the educational path taken and recent successes by Jose and Guadalupe, one would think that would put added pressure on the younger siblings to follow in the older brothers’ footsteps.  

            “Since I am the youngest and I saw my brothers become successful, teachers know who you expect you to be successful.  This is helped me stay motivated and push me to be successful,” Marco Paniagua said.

            According to both Marco and Michel, there is a pressure to succeed, but it is more of a positive pressure they use as motivation to become successful.

“It is wonderful to see the motivation that these four siblings give each other.  They take a huge amount of pride in each other and their success in higher education,” states Margaret Sanchez, Director of the MESA Program and the Learning Center at Mendocino College. 

All four of these siblings are taking part in the Summer Math Institute for the MESA Program and the Foundational Skills Program at Mendocino College.  The Summer Math Institute is a two-week intensive math preparation program geared at helping students prepare for their upcoming class in the fall. 

Students start the day by performing a math related problem with the whole group.  The students are then broken up into small groups according to their math level where they work at their own pace. Marco is attending the institute and his three siblings are presenting at the institute.

            For further information regarding the Mendocino College MESA Program, contact Margaret Sanchez at (707) 468-3023.


Created: August 20, 2009 @ 10:32 AM
Last Modified: March 12, 2010 @ 02:48 PM


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