Hello! My name is Javier Muñoz. I grew up in East Los Angeles and graduated from J. A. Garfield High School in 2009. In 2013, I graduated from UCLA. 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. My high school classmates and colleagues, who graduated from 4-year colleges or universities, are also committed to giving back to a new generation of GHS students.
Because I am a Ph.D. Student at UCLA, we have the opportunity to transform our ideas into a community initiative with the UCLA History Graduate Students Association (HGSA). It will bring East LA to UCLA and present college as a realistic option.
What is HGSA College PATHS?
HGSA College PATHS 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 February & March of 2018 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. In the past, topics have touched on immigration and education inequality. We think students will benefit tremendously by visiting a college campus and experiencing a college lecture firsthand!
Lectures will be supplemented with social justice workshops, college access workshops, and panels. Students will learn about the following:
Additionally, all students will be assigned a mentor, who has graduated from a 4-year college or university and is 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.
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 did receive the help required to attend college and would like to pay it forward. This is your chance to make a difference and every bit helps! All the funds collected will go toward providing the following:
Breakfast & Lunch
Office Supplies, etc.
Leftover funds will be saved for next year and used to help a new group of students. Since the program began in 2015, we have awarded $1,100 in scholarships! We can all do this together like we did during our 2015 GoFundMe and 2016 GoFundMe campaigns! Thank you for your trust and support! And please don't forget to share this campaign with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers!
HGSA College PATHS Volunteers
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- Nicole Chi
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