Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They’re Here!

You’ve got a decision to make – and that’s a good thing.

Spring has finally arrived and so have college admissions letters in mailboxes & inboxes across the nation. I can personally remember waiting with great anticipation for my admissions decision letter to arrive from USC.

That long anticipated wait is finally over and the colleges you’ve applied to will be letting you know what their admission decision is.

With the excitement and nerves of receiving your letters, comes a big decision to be made. Keep the following points in mind as you and your family review the colleges that have accepted you:

  • Contact the Office of Financial Aid at the college or university where you’re planning to attend and do not hesitate to ask any questions you have regarding your financial aid package.
  • Consider factors such as the size of the school and extracurricular activities that are offered. Just as important, look into what type of housing and meal plans are available to you.
  • Remember to closely follow any deadlines, such as when you need to notify the college of your decision and when you’ll need to send them your transcripts, or any other requested supplemental information.

I greatly encourage you to stop by the College and Career Center on the El Rancho High School campus to meet with our Generation 1st Degree Pico Rivera program partners, Be A Leader and EAOP-UCI. They can answer any questions you may have regarding making your final college decision. There’s always a staff member present to offer assistance and guidance.

Congratulations on beginning the next chapter of your education and the very best of luck to you!


The Post-El Rancho Experience

By Jesse Enrique Sanchez

During my time at El Rancho High School, I found myself constantly attending college essay workshops hosted by Generation 1st Degree Pico Rivera.

As an aspiring first-generation college student and first-generation U.S. citizen, no one in my family could assist me with what I needed so I had to seek out opportunities for college student applications on my own. Without the extensive assistance that G1DPR provided me, I may not have been as successful as I am now.

I am currently majoring in History and Political Science at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, with minors in European Studies, Latin American Studies, International Relations, Russian Language and Literature.

I belong to four programs pertaining to undergraduate research and interdisciplinary academics at Cornell: the McNair, Rawlings, OADI, and College Scholar Programs. In addition, I am an editor for the Cornell International Affairs Review and Cornell Historical Society journal, Ezra’s Archives, and serve as the Political Chair for MEChA de Cornell.

I strive for an academic experience that is challenging, diverse, and positive. I understand the necessity and importance of a rich undergraduate experience, more so than I ever did in high school, as a result of the intellectual and personal experiences I’ve had here at Cornell. I realize that if it weren’t for my strong college application essays, my achievements and possibilities would have been much more limited.

In the future, I look forward to taking this knowledge and serving as a faculty member for a university History department, in order to fulfill my life-long goal of educating and sharing my knowledge with young minds. To Generation 1st Degree Pico Rivera and all those who have aided me in my journey, I say thank you.

Jorge Padilla, EAOP- UC Irvine, Regional Coordinator

My name is Jorge Padilla and I am the new Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) Regional Coordinator for El Rancho High School, funded in part by Generation 1st Degree Pico Rivera. EAOP is a college prep program that increases the academic preparation and college-going rates of the students and schools it serves. EAOP provides several collaborative programs such as Academic Advising, Test Prep, and Parent Engagement.

There are two UC Irvine undergraduates currently serving El Rancho High School: Cecilia Garcia and Daphne Dueñas. These EAOP Student Coordinators provide students with one-on-one academic advisement and mentorship, instruct students on strategic class selection towards fulfilling A-G requirements, and provide guidance regarding preparation for college.

We have some great opportunities coming up for students in April, including a workshop for 11th grade students and a field trip to UC Irvine on April 16th. We also have a freshman workshop scheduled in early May. Be on the lookout for those flyers and invitations, Dons!

As for myself, I’m originally from Echo Park in Los Angeles. I graduated from UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Latin American-Latino Studies and recently graduated from UC Irvine with a Masters of Urban & Regional Planning. I’m very proud to have been a student of the University of California and I fully support and encourage students to strive to be UC-bound by their senior year.

During my time at UCSC, I worked as a Peer Advisor for the Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) office. This experience instilled in me a passion for serving students and ensuring their success, just like Generation 1st Degree Pico Rivera is doing for you.

When I moved on from UCSC, I continued to serve students at SteppingUP, a non-profit college awareness program in central Orange County. Here I worked with high school students and helped prepare them for their trajectory in higher education.

I’m very happy to now be working with Generation 1st Degree Pico Rivera and to be surrounded by a very supportive staff, especially the staff at El Rancho. I look forward to serving students at El Rancho High School with the same support and attention they’ve received in the past to ensure they are well prepared and ready to enter college, equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to succeed, and ready to make the best of their college experience.