Aura Barrera, Class of 2020, Major in Computer Science (intended)

Introducing the Fiat Lux Scholars 

Aura Barrera just completed her first year at Berkeley, and already the intended computer science major has worked with a faculty mentor, helped plan an overnight outreach program for high school students, and met with junior and senior peers to plan her course schedule.

Aura’s experiences were all part of being one of the campus’ inaugural group of Fiat Lux Scholars. One of the highest academic honors offered by the university to incoming freshmen, the Fiat Lux Scholarship program brings together the strengths of two former programs, the Cal Opportunity Scholarship and the Incentive Awards Programs, and kicked off in fall 2016 with its first entering class. An honor bestowed by the Berkeley campus to incoming freshmen, the scholarship program supports scholars for the duration of their college careers. Fiat Lux, or "Let There Be Light," benefits high-achieving students who come from select high schools in low-income or underrepresented communities throughout California.

“The Fiat Lux Scholarship program is a community I am privileged to be a part of. It is much more than financial support; it is a community of support,” said Aura, who graduated from an Oakland public high school where she founded a “Girls Who Code” club, organized a hackathon, and built websites for nonprofits. At Berkeley, she is continuing to pursue her passion for programming, both through her coursework and by participating in student groups focused on diversifying the tech world.

The Fiat Lux Scholarship program provides comprehensive support services and financial awards to grow and strengthen UC Berkeley's diverse, talented, and innovative undergraduate student community. Scholarship recipients benefit from a robust program that includes professional advising, faculty mentorship, leadership development, community service, and peer support. Other program benefits include a research stipend; financial advising, service opportunities, a dedicated study space, and a scholar association.

“We created Fiat Lux to bring to Berkeley an outstanding, diverse group representing California’s brightest minds,” said Stephen C. Sutton, Ed.D., interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs. “Fiat Lux Scholars receive all of the support they need to benefit from the campus’ unparalleled educational environment and ultimately to emerge as leaders on campus, in their communities, and beyond.”

For more information about the Fiat Lux Scholarship Program, please visit: