2015 Tillman Scholar

Daniel Ybarra

University of California - Los Angeles

“I want to motivate young people. I want to be to them what my military mentors were to me.”

With great respect and admiration for his grandfather, a WWII Vet and POW, Daniel joined the military to serve as a Navy corpsman supporting the Marines. Although he struggled to finish high school in his earlier years, Daniel’s military mentors noticed in him an eagerness to learn under pressure. Their belief in him has since motivated Daniel to pursue a career as a physician.

At UCLA, he is now working toward completing his medical degree and a Masters in Public Health, guided by the lesson that he can have a true and profound impact on other people’s lives. In addition to his studies, he currently serves as a board member for VETNET, a UCLA veteran alumni affinity group. One of his responsibilities is to mentor undergraduate veterans who are interested in medicine. He is also conducting new research to determine the benefit of primary care services for homeless veterans.

Upon completion of his medical program, Daniel intends to serve in some capacity within the VA system. Following his residency, he also aspires to go back and teach at the community colleges he once attended, all with the goal of mentoring and motivating youth to make more out of their lives.