Melba Madrigal

Skyline College and Cornell University alumna Melba Madrigal knows what it takes to transfer successfully – and she wants to help other community college students transfer to their dream university as well.

“As a transfer student myself, I want to help more community college students have access to the opportunities I had.” Melba says. “At Cornell…I was able to experience the east coast for the first time, and I was able to make friends with people from all over the world. I want to help students get the inside scoop into how they can transfer – and succeed once they do.”

That’s what she hopes to do with Transfer Hero, a new website Melba and her team have developed over the last year that helps connect prospective transfer students with other students interested in transferring and with transfer success stories. Working locally at the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center, she's developed a social network (currently in beta) built exclusively for community college students looking to transfer.

Finding the right college straight out of high school can be a stressful and overwhelming choice – and sometimes things just don’t go to plan. It was an unexpected bump in the road that shaped Melba’s own transfer story and ultimately provided her with the motivation to help other transfer students like her.

Melba worked diligently in high school to get good grades, took several AP classes, worked at a restaurant, and was involved on campus. So when she didn’t get into her top choice university, she was devastated, feeling like she had let her parents, and herself, down.

“I hadn’t considered attending community college…However, I did not want to settle on attending, and paying for, a university that I would not be happy at. While at the time it was a difficult decision to go to community college, I knew that attending Skyline College was the right path for me to get to where I wanted to go.”

Melba threw herself into her Skyline College experience and committed herself to making her goals a reality.

“I loved my experience at Skyline because of the community. I made so many friends and connections with people who came from a variety of backgrounds, many of whom experienced many challenges and setbacks, but were determined to overcome their circumstance.”

While at Skyline College, Melba participated in the Honors Transfer Program and Phi Theta Kappa, both of which proved to be organizations that introduced her to like-minded peers who wanted to challenge themselves academically and strive to be individuals who served their community.

When it came to thinking about her transfer options, Melba says she started with a list of about fifteen universities. During her first year at Skyline College, she researched each program and finally narrowed it down to two, with Cornell at the top of the list.  

Thanks to Transfer Hero, Melba is creating a way for other prospective and former transfer students to learn from each other’s success. Now students can research options and narrow down their own transfer lists with a little bit of help from their peers.

To have early access to Transfer Hero sign up with your Skyline College email at and enter the early access code "SkylineTransfer!"

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