Founders' Scholar: Ailsa Tirado

Ailsa Tirado thought she had it all worked out. She planned to go to community college for two years and work to make money to pay for college once she transferred somewhere else to a finish the final two years. She never thought she’d to come straight to USD, but figured there was no harm in applying. When she was accepted, she felt sheer exhilaration — followed by sheer panic. After all, she didn’t know how she’d afford it.

Luckily, the Founders’ Endowed Scholarship made all the difference.

Tirado didn’t consider majoring in engineering until she joined a math class full of engineers and earned the second highest score in the class. Now, as a senior industrial and systems engineering major, she’s active in USD’s Changemaker Hub, is a math tutor at a local elementary school and even started her own summer program teaching young students how to write computer code.

“As soon as I saw this university, I immediately realized I wanted to come straight here,” says Tirado. “I didn’t want to miss out on the complete college experience. This scholarship gives me the gift to make the most of my time here at USD and to make an impact in the world as a student and as an engineer.”

— Krystn Shrieve

To learn more about the University of San Diego Founders’ Gala, happening November 14, 2015, or to give to the Founders’ Endowed Scholarship Fund, please visit