HGSA College PATHS

$2,115 of $1,200 goal

Raised by 29 people in 27 months
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Who Are We?

Hello! My name is Javier Muñoz. I grew up in East Los Angeles where I graduated from J. A. Garfield High School in 2009. I went on to study History at UCLA , where I graduated in 2013. While studying there, I noticed a disproportionately low number of Latina/o students on-campus. This observation inspired me to build a program committed to helping students from underrepresented backgrounds reach institutions of higher education.  But I am not doing this alone. Several of my high school classmates and colleagues, who graduated from 4-year colleges and universities, are also committed to giving back to a new generation of GHS students. Now that I am a Ph.D. Student at UCLA, we have the opportunity to transform our ideas into a joint community initiative with the UCLA History Graduate Students Association (HGSA) that brings East LA to UCLA and presents college as a realistic option.

What is HGSA College PATHS?

HGSA College PATHS (formerly CAP @ UCLA ) is a college access and academic enrichment program. It aims to provide a select group of eight students from the ninth and/or tenth grade at J. A. Garfield High School with the critical thinking skills and knowledge required to gain admission to a 4-year college or university. By reaching students early in their high school careers, we hope to reach those who never considered college a realistic option and help them work toward that goal. Our small effort is geared toward ensuring equity and access within higher education.

The program will take place at UCLA in May & June 2017 in the form of four all day Saturday Academies. Each Saturday will feature a university professor who will lecture about a topic relevant to the lives of our participating students. For example, Professor Gaye Theresa Johnson will be speaking about injustice and inequality through the history of Los Angeles. We think students will benefit tremendously by visiting a college campus and experiencing a college lecture first hand.

Lectures will be supplemented with ice-breaker exercises, college access workshops, and panels. Students will learn about the following:

Admissions
Financial Aid
A-G Requirements
Career Possibilities
Personal Statements

And a few other useful workshops meants to develop their critical thinking skills and place them on the college track. All students will be assigned a mentor, who will have graduated from a 4-year college or university and will be familiar with the East LA community. Students will be joined by mentors for lunch every Saturday.  The shared struggles and backgrounds between students and their mentors will facilitate the creation of good relationships. All participants will be provided with breakfast and lunch.

What Can You Do To Help?

By donating a couple dollars, you can help improve the likelihood that a young student from East LA will attend a 4-year college or university. You might be someone who never had that opportunity or someone who received the help required to attend college and would like to pay it forward. This is your chance to make a difference and every bit counts! All the funds collected will go toward providing the following:

Notebooks
Scholarships
Breakfast & Lunch
Printed Materials
Office Supplies, etc.

Leftover funds will be saved for next year when the program begins with a new group of students. We can all do this together like we did during our 2015 GoFundMe campaign! Thank you for your trust and support! And please don't forget to share this with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers!

Thank you,

HGSA College PATHS Volunteers
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4th & Final Saturday Academy (6/3/2017): Hi all! Here's the final update about this past weekend's Saturday Academy!

The day began with a skype lecture by Professor Gaye Theresa Johnson. She spoke to them a bit about the History of East LA in relation to the laws and forms of dispossession that helped transform it into a hub for those who identify as Mexican Americans and/or Chicana/o(s). There was also discussion about the various freeways cutting through East LA and how they produced unhealthy living conditions for residents of color in East LA living in close proximity to them. But she also spoke about the difficulties she had when she was in college as a woman of color and how she managed to persevere. Students asked her questions about ways they can manage the cultural shock associated with being first generation students of color at 4-year colleges and universities.

Professor Johnson's lecture was followed by a Housing Inequality workshop led by Fernando Lopez. He talked to them about redlining, restrictive covenants, and how wealth was transferred to white people via the federal government (New Deal/GI Bill). This was followed by a group discussion where we discussed the little things we can do on a daily basis to make a difference.

The discussion was followed by a group picture with mentors and the final mentor/mentee pizza party lunch!

Following lunch, there was a career panel that included a Latina/o lawyer from The Franco Law Group, which was founded by a GHS alumna, an aerospace engineer at Boeing, and a 4th year UCLA Medical Student who graduated from GHS. They all talked about their inspirations, how they navigated through college as Latina/o(s), and how they created support networks to help them succeed in their career paths.

The panel was followed by an awards ceremony where each student was granted a certificate of completion and received a $200 scholarship made possible by your generous contributions. They were surprised and excited that their efforts were rewarded in such a manner so thank you for believing in them!

I am humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to meet and help guide these students through the first phase of this program. I can't wait to see who they become and what they will accomplish for their families & the East LA community. I was astounded by the amount of people who contributed their time, money, and labor to make this program possible. It goes to show that we can do great things when we all work together and contribute in our own ways. I am so proud of you and them because without you all none of this would be possible. Thank you for your commitment and all the work you've done to build a more equitable future!
Fernando's Housing Inequality Workshop
Group Picture with Mentors
Students with Certificates of Completion
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3rd Saturday Academy (5/27/2017): Hi everyone! Here's the update about today's Saturday Academy! Unfortunately, I got so caught up with the action packed schedule revolving around the theme of mental health that I forgot to take pictures about the day but I will do my best to tell you about what we covered.

The day began with a Financial Aid Workshop led by representatives from the UCLA Financial Aid office. Yarenis and Sunnee spoke to students about the cost of attendance at UCLA and explained how the Financial Aid office calculated the distribution of aid. They discussed grants, scholarships, and the various types of students loans. Students left the workshop understanding that they will be able to afford college and should not be discouraged by costs that can be interpreted as too high. Furthermore, they spoke about their own experiences as students and shared strategies about how to reduce the costs associated with room and board, books, transportation, etc.

This was followed by a mental health workshop led by Esmeralda Melgoza, a MPH at UCLA. She spoke to them about the various dimensions of health- physical, mental, and social- and talked about resources available in the East LA area. All of our students knew nothing about mental health and the importance of it so the workshop was essential.

The workshop was followed by the second part of the individualized personal statement workshop. Mentors gathered with their mentees and helped them improve the second version of their personal statement, which was followed by another joint lunch.

Following lunch, Maria Santos, a post-doc at USC, talked about mental health treatment options for Latina/o(s) and how traditional treatment methods have not helped an already marginalized population. This is exacerbated by the social stigma surrounding mental health.

Finally, the day ended with a mindfulness workshop led by Vanessa Calderon. She emphasized the health benefits and the need for students to find balance in their lives, especially with the current political climate, issues at home, and all the stresses at school. We all engaged in a couple mindfulness exercises and tried to think about the things that relax us.

For the most part, today was about helping students find balance amidst the difficulties of life and the stresses of applying to college. We hope this will help them to better take care of themselves in all aspects of their lives. Now we're heading toward the final Saturday Academy that your generosity has made possible. I'll be sure to update you all shortly and extend my most sincere appreciation for all your efforts!
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2nd Saturday Academy (5/20/2017): Hi everyone! Here's the update about last week's Saturday Academy. The theme for the day revolved around immigration and we began with a lecture about the history of immigrant workers in the United States. This lecture was led by UCLA Professor Toby Higbie. It was a brilliant lecture that contextualized contemporary immigrant struggles and also taught students how to analyze images using the lens of a historian.

This lecture was followed by an Admissions Workshop led by Valentia Chen, a student worker at the UCLA Admissions office. She spoke about the importance of a personal statement and the way the UCLA admissions office reads the applications holistically. She also spoke about all the opportunities that UCLA has to offer, including study abroad, student clubs, majors, etc.

The workshop was followed by an individualized personal statement workshop where mentees learned about how to improve the personal statement they wrote for admission into HGSA College PATHS. This format facilitated the mentor-mentee lunch.

Unfortunately, we had a last minute cancellation so we replaced the Know Your Rights workshop with a viewing of a documentary film titled "Made in LA." It chronicled the struggles of undocumented garment workers who organized against unfair labor conditions and practices employed by Forever 21 to exploit them. It was a powerful film because many of the students related the struggles on-screen with those of their parents and learned about the power of organizing to produce change. Furthermore, the film continued from where Professor Toby Higbie's lecture ended.

Finally, the day ended with a college access alumni panel where former GHS graduates, representing the Posse Foundation, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and College Match, talked about what these programs do and how they helped them get to and succeed in college. It is our hope that informing students about other college access programs can help them obtain all the tools and resources we alone may be unable to provide.

Our students left UCLA more hopeful about the range of opportunities available to help them achieve their goals. This would not have been possible without your support and hard work. Thank you!
Prof. Higbie on Immigrant Workers in US
Valentia Shen discussing UCLA Admissions
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Hi Everyone,

I wanted to apologize for the delay in providing updates for the past three HGSA College PATHS Saturday Academies. I will let you know how each Saturday Academy went beginning with May 13, 2017.

Before doing so I wanted to everyone know that we were only able to recruit four students this year. While this allows us to provide them with a more generous scholarship, it does not enable us to reach the wider student body we wanted to reach. We put a lot more effort into recruitment this year but sometimes things don't pan out the way we want. On the other hand, it's only the second cohort so we know we can improve moving forward, especially with all your support.

1st Saturday Academy (5/13/2017): We began the program running with an A-G Requirements workshop led by Fernando Lopez. He taught students about the types of classes required to be eligible to apply to UC's and how to advocate for themselves when high school counselors place them in classes they don't need. The theme of empowerment permeated the workshop.

This workshop was followed by a brief interactive lecture from Magali Campos about the Latina/o educational pipeline. This PhD student led lecture revolved around transformative education and helping students understanding more productive ways to take ownership over their educational experience within the confines of the classroom.

This was followed by an ice-breaker activity where students engaged in a college scavenger hunt seeking information about colleges and universities. It was a competition between mentee-mentor pairs! Mentees then had the opportunity to speak with their mentors over lunch.

After lunch, Professor Mario A. Escobar shared his personal story as a former child soldier from El Salvador during the Civil War and spoke about the importance of a college education. It was a moving experience and enabled our students to understand the power of our own personal stories.

Finally, we ended the day with a POC Tour of UCLA campus where students learned about the struggles students of color have waged within the many halls of the UCLA campus. For example, students learned about the two Black Panther Party members, John Huggins and Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter, who were murdered in Campbell Hall as the High Potential program (now known as AAP) was in its infancy.

It was a very long day but also a very rewarding one. Fortunately your generosity allowed us to provide the food required to keep their energy up! Again, thank you for your support and investment in our youth!
Fernando Lopez leading the A-G Workshop
Magali on the Latina/o ed pipeline
Students at the UCLA Powell Library
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$2,115 of $1,200 goal

Raised by 29 people in 27 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created March 3, 2017
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$500
Anonymous
26 months ago
WW
$50
Wonman Williams
26 months ago
EV
$100
Edward Valle
26 months ago
CC
$50
Christina Campos
26 months ago
$50
Victor Salcedo
26 months ago

Keep doing great work Javy! If you do this next year I'll be able to donate more!

$20
Jeff DeGuia
26 months ago
JC
$25
Jaime Castaneda
26 months ago
VM
$50
Vero Munoz
26 months ago
JR
$10
Jas Riley
26 months ago
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