Finding Her Inspiration

Jacqueline Argueta combines art and computer science to create something beautiful

Jacqueline Argueta has always believed in following her own path. At Kentwood High School in Covington, Wash., she started a video program for school-wide announcements. While studying visual art and design at Highline Community College, she won first place in the end-of-the-year Portfolio Show. When she transferred to Evergreen, she enrolled in Computer Science Foundations, even though she hadn’t taken math since high school.

“It has been the most rigorous and intense academic experience of my life, but I am so happy that I took this program,” she says.

As an artist, Argueta sees clearly how her emerging knowledge of computer science can impact her artwork. She plans to combine her two passions and pursue media studies in animation. “I had taken lots of fine arts and graphic design classes, but taking computer science helped me explore the linear thinking part of my brain,” she says. “I was always intimidated by the field because it’s so math- and science-based. But it’s the part that gets down to earth on how the work is done, and it’s beautiful to combine the two and see how a piece can impact and inspire people.”

Argueta gets her inspiration from her parents, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador after that country’s civil war. At a young age, she had the chance to visit her parents’ home country, and saw for herself the incredible difference between the life that they had lived and the life that she did. “I knew that I had to go to college one day, and educate myself to the fullest,” she says. But she knew it would be a struggle financially for her and her parents.

“The Foundation Scholarship opened up the doors for me,” she says. “Because Evergreen is such a small and unique community, it has given me the opportunity to play to my unique talents and pursue them.”

Receiving the scholarship has allowed Argueta to pursue a career in the arts, something she may not have been as willing to do if she had to worry about going into significant debt to pay for college. “It is a real motivator for me to know that a group of individuals believed enough in me to help pay for my schooling, and I know that when I graduate I want to do the same for another student,” she says. “My time at Evergreen has been the most incredible experience of my life. I am truly grateful to be at such an amazing place.”

This fall, The Evergreen State College Foundation secured a $1.5 million challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which will double the impact of scholarship gifts to support students in need. You can support students like Jackie at