Upon graduation from Occidental, each Obama Scholar becomes an Obama Scholars Fellow. The fellowship funds Obama Scholars’ continuing pursuit of the public good. It represents an investment in research or internships, or the launch of post-college careers.
In 2017, Occidental was proud to honor Cameron Peters ’18 as the first Obama Scholars Fellow. Cameron was in the unique position of being in his final year at Oxy when the Obama Scholars Program was launched. The nature of his accomplishments before and after enrolling at Oxy convinced the selection committee that the urban & environmental policy major from San Diego best exemplified what the Obama Scholars Program represents.
Cameron Peters, Occidental College Class of 2018
Obama Scholars Fellow
Cameron grew up in a military family, and he continued the tradition by joining the Army in 2003. After basic training, Cameron was deployed to Afghanistan and served for 13 months. Upon returning home, Cameron was assigned to Ft. McPherson in Atlanta to work in military intelligence. In 2013, he decided it was time to leave the military and go to college, as he believed the best way to serve his country was with an education. After attending Pasadena City College, Cameron transferred to Oxy.
Cameron chose urban & environmental policy as his major to accommodate his desire to be out in the community, be more hands on and, in his words, “create real change.” Outside of the classroom, he has been fully engaged with the local community, notably interning for Service Employees International Union, which represents public service workers in Southern California. He hopes to continue this type of work after graduation from Oxy — with an aspiration to help veterans, particularly minority veterans, in the future. He finds inspiration in President Obama’s example: “He showed a path to African American males that they normally do not, or cannot, take,” he says. “I’d love to meet him someday.”
As a veteran and community college transfer with a clearly demonstrated commitment to the public good, Cameron embodies the goals of the Obama Scholars Program. The Obama Scholars Fellowship will ensure that he will be able to continue on his path toward civic leadership.
The Obama Scholars Fellowship is not a separate program from the Obama Scholars Program. In 2017, Occidental College awarded one fellowship to a current Oxy student, but ongoing, the fellowship is part of the full Obama Scholars Program.