We are excited to share that two Generation 1st Degree – Pico Rivera students are headed to Washington, D.C. next week to take part in the First Lady’s Reach for the Top: Beating The Odds summit. The event will take place at the White House and our very own Karen Lopez and Biane Arias are 2 of only 130 guests! That’s right! They were selected from students around the country who best exemplify what it means to beat the odds.
Both Karen and Biane are the first in their family to attend college and both are grateful for the support they have received along the way.
Karen shared, “I was part of Be A Leader which was very helpful. Our Be A Leader Program Manager, Alma, really inspired us. Every day, she would constantly send us emails, telling us ‘I have these scholarships for college’ and ‘bring me your resumes,’ then she’d correct them and we’d work on them again. She was the person who encouraged us to apply to several colleges and the one who pushed us. It’s motivating to have her as a Latina role model. She shows us that if you have a tremendous amount of drive, you can accomplish anything you want. She always says, ‘If you really want it, you’re going to go get it.’ It means a lot to me. Myself and my peers are all following in her foot steps.”
For Biane, the first in her family to graduate from high school, the honor is very real, “I’m looking forward to this summit and to the opportunity of meeting the First Lady. It’s exciting to be surrounded by my peers, from all over the country, who are going through the same experiences and traveling along the same path as me. It’s an honor. I never would have thought I’d have an opportunity like this. I’ve always wanted to go to the White House but never had the means. So this is going to be a great experience.”
At the summit, the girls will participate in a number of peer and expert panels that will be geared towards sharing experiences and success strategies for transitioning to college. After the summit the girls will share their knowledge with their fellow Generation 1st Degree – Pico Rivera family in order to ensure a successful transition for all.
Generation 1st Degree -Pico Rivera founders Gilbert and Jacki Cisneros as well as Be A Leader program manager Alma-Delia Renteria will be accompanying the girls on this historic journey.
We will be sharing the girls’ stories as they make their way to the summit; please stay tuned to our social media channels for updates!