Yahydia Iñiguez

Last updated: 2012

Yahydia Iñiguez

2012 Beat the Odds Honoree

At the age of 13, Yahydia Iñiguez and her mother became homeless. While Yahydia and her mother moved from shelter to shelter, Yahydia was forced to transfer schools several times. Though Yahydia had always been a focused student, the instability and consistent displacement made academic success and extracurricular involvement very difficult; however, not impossible. “While I was homeless, I felt like I had no control over anything in my life. I used every ounce of my being to keep in together and to do well in school,” says Yahydia.

Despite the challenges of poverty and homelessness, Yahydia remains committed to academic success and maintains a 3.9 GPA. Though she was diagnosed with chronic asthma, Yahydia has beaten the odds as a successful two-sport student athlete in basketball and track &field. Additionally, Yahydia serves her community as a member of the “Punk Rock Martha’s,” a community service club that raises money and feeds the homeless through St. Francis Center in Los Angeles.

Because of her personal health challenges and those of her mother, Yahydia dreams of becoming the first person in her family to attend and graduate from college in pursuit of a degree in medicine. Yahydia hopes that her life will serve “to inspire others to succeed no matter what obstacle is placed in front of them.”

Yahydia currently maintains a 3.9 grade point average.