Back to School? Get the Summer Rewind

Over the Summer, Generation 1st Degree-Pico Rivera’s Be A Leader – Senior Boot Camp program prepared incoming seniors for the college application process. The Senior Boot Camp provided sixty-five students with the opportunity to participate in a series of college preparation workshops that took place on a college campus. Students benefited from the program’s guidance in the college admission application process and also learned how to craft a resume, an activity that helped many of the students secure summer internships and jobs.

Selfie by comedian Ernie G. Gritzewsky with Bryan Cortes, Alejandra Gomez, Michelle Sandoval, and the students

Students participated in six group sessions and two one-on-one sessions with our project manager, Michelle Sandoval. One area of focus was on peer and professional editing of resumes as well as writing and editing the students’ college personal statements. Students received a visit from UCSB Admissions officials to discuss the UC application and how to successfully be admitted to UCSB specifically. The students received a visit from a career panel, which included comedian Ernie G. Gritzewsky and inspirational speaker Bryan Cortes. The panelists’ overall goal was to empower the students to “Be A Leader.” The students also had the opportunity to visit and explore college campuses including Pomona and Pitzer Colleges.

Julio Ornelas, the Vice President of the Be A Leader Club, said, “One thing that I learned from the Summer Boot Camp is that I can afford college with the help of grants, loans, and many scholarships.” Other students applied what they learned and had immediate results like Isaiah Avina, who landed his first summer job at Hollister following the resume writing workshop. Leanne Payan shared, “I learned how to build a resume at the Be A Leader Boot Camp.” Leanne successfully received an offer to be an intern at a law firm in Los Angeles. She spent four weeks over summer shadowing a lawyer and helping him maintain the medical records for his clients’ cases.

Now that the Be A Leader Senior Boot Camp program is a wrap, participating students will be ready to take on the challenge of completing their college applications this Fall!


Parents’ Perspective on the College Campus Tour of UCSB

Click here to see a video from the tour!

On Monday, November 7th, 63 El Rancho High School students and 11 parents participated in a day-long adventure to UC Santa Barbara for a college campus tour, sponsored by Generation 1st Degree-Pico Rivera. The day started with a walking tour of the campus where students and parents got to see campus life while building up an appetite for lunch. Boxed lunches were enjoyed by the campus’ beautiful lagoon, followed by a presentation on college admissions. After a short break, parents and students parted ways to attend presentations created specifically for each group. ERHS students sat in with a student panel made up of ERHS alum now attending UCSB. The UCSB student panel shared highlights and stories on their experience, and ERHS students had an opportunity to ask their most pressing questions.

Before the campus tour, parents who attended expressed interest in learning about campus life, safety, and tuition costs, and also expressed concerns about how their child would do on their own. G1DPR worked with UCSB to create a special workshop for ERHS parents that addressed these topics. It was an opportunity to remove any worry from their minds by asking UCSB staff about any questions or concerns. We were able to interview a few parents after the tour, and here is what they had to say:

How has this tour changed the way you think or feel about your child going away to college?

It has changed my mind. I see the ability to see her on her own. She seems to adapt very well.
-Jose Cruz
Learning the services that UCSB offers gave me much peace because the focus of the staff is not only to educate, but also to enforce the health and safety of the students.
Juana Cruz

Positively, it was a very good experience. They are going to mature more and they will learn how to make decisions for themselves; and know that if they work hard they will achieve what they want.
-Angelica Leggis

Now that you’ve completed the tour, do you feel more comfortable sending you child away to college, and if so, tell us why? For example, are your fears gone?

I am very comfortable. Seeing her adapt today gives me security.
-Jose Cruz
When my son told me he wanted to attend a University far from home, I did not like the idea at all. But now that I know the services, which are more accessible than I thought, I am not hesitant for him to go to college.
Juana Cruz

Yes, because we received so much information on all the programs and the help is available for them. We also learned how they can be involved in many activities, and that there are opportunities to work at the university.
-Angelica Leggis

Would you recommend other parents to attend college campus tours with their child, and if yes, please explain why?

Yes. This allows parents to see the lifestyle in a different way.

-Jose Cruz

Yes, as a parent, one also has questions. It is especially good to know the university that your son will be attending.
Juana Cruz

It is highly recommendable, since it gives us an idea as to what our children experience so we can understand it more and give them our support.
-Angelica Leggis

We want to thank UC Santa Barbara for being wonderful hosts to our El Ranch families.

Click here to see the video and read more about the day’s event as featured on UCSB’s news site!