Generation 1st Degree-Pico Rivera Program Partner Spotlight – Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP)

For the last three years, Generation 1st Degree-Pico Rivera has partnered with the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) at University of California, Irvine (UCI) to increase the academic preparation and college attendance rates of Pico Rivera students.

El Rancho High School graduate Mariela Padilla (class of 2015) said her involvement in EAOP had a significant impact on her college future. She is now planning to attend UCI this fall as a biology major.

“I had a student coordinator help me step-by-step of the college application process and I would not have been able to do everything by myself,” said Padilla. “It was so overwhelming, and I took advantage of all the opportunities EAOP could offer. One of the things I also enjoyed was the fieldtrip to UCI, as it gave me the opportunity to speak to different college students, get a tour of the campus, and become more familiar with what UCI had to offer.”

EAOP provides the following higher education access at El Rancho High School:

  • Academic enrichment
  • Academic advising
  • Test preparation
  • Parent engagement services

As the largest University of California academic preparation program for nearly 40 years, EAOP works directly with students at underserved schools to increase the number of students achieving a college degree. This past school year, EAOP provided over 45 presentations on college preparation and served more than 770 ERHS students.

In addition to the school year program, EAOP welcomes students to their summer residential programs on the UC Irvine campus. Participants in the Transfer Leadership Collaborative (TLC), and College Finances Institute (CFI) learn about the various pathways to achieve and pay for a college degree, while experiencing college life in the dorms.

Students and their families are encouraged to learn more about EAOP at ERHS by getting in touch with EAOP regional coordinator Cecilia Leyva, or any of the UCI undergraduate student coordinators that are available at the ERHS College and Career Center. The staff works to assist students (of all grade levels) with their A-G requirements, and also offers advice on challenging academic courses, volunteerism and school activity participation.

“Every year, it gets more competitive for students to be admitted to a 4-year institution, and through extracurricular activities, students can demonstrate their commitment to their education, field of study, and the different skills that they were able to develop” said Leyva.   “Programs such as EAOP help expose students to new opportunities and develop skills that will ultimately enable them to become successful college students.”

EAOP Facts:

  • EAOP students complete A-G requirements, enroll in college, and graduate from college at higher rates
  • 79% of EAOP students complete A-G requirements, compared to 39% of California graduates
  • The UC enrollment rate of EAOP graduates is three times higher than the rest of California graduates (21% compared to 7%)
  • From the UCI EAOP class of 2009, 77% obtained a degree, compared to the national average of 56%
  • EAOP students set their goals high, and achieve those goals!

For more information about this program, please contact EAOP regional coordinator Cecilia Leyva at or call 949-824-5705.