One-on-one with San Diego's newest Rhodes Scholar - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

One-on-one with San Diego's newest Rhodes Scholar

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A San Diego student is preparing for the trip of a lifetime. He will soon be traveling to Oxford to continue his education while working to change the world.

His time at Torrey Pines High foreshadowed that one day he'd make an impact. And now some of the greatest minds in the world will get to see that too.

"I'm just excited - I feel it's going to be an incredible opportunity."

Zarko Perovic is San Diego's newest Rhodes Scholar.

And the 23-year-old plans to use his all-expenses paid experience at England's Oxford University to prepare him for a future in war crimes law.

"You can't just be a brilliant lawyer who does excellent in court - you also need experience outside the courtroom - and my desire to go to Oxford was - I'll be able to get this experience with policy that just a law degree wouldn't give me," Perovic said.

Zarko's family moved to the US from Serbia when he was 8 years old and although they lived far from the fighting, the tough economic conditions definitely made an impression. And when he got to Berkeley for college, he worked at the war crimes center there - fueling his passion to put an end to genocide.

"They really destroy people - they scar victims, they make them lose confidence in government and it's these types of effects that they have - that is something that really inspires me and makes me want to prevent these crimes from occurring," Perovic said.

Zarko graduated from Cal last year and is now working for the state department in Washington D.C. He came back to California last week for the grueling interview process which took place in LA and was glad to sneak in a few extra days back home.

"I definitely have a soft spot for San Diego - just the beaches, running down a trail with my friend today - just made me remember how much I miss this place," Perovic said.

More than 1700 students entered the process this year to win the scholarship only 32 were chosen. Zarko will enter Oxford in October 2014.

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