LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Some 1,100 ninth grade students will attend the Puente Student Leadership Conference at the California State University, Los Angeles Eagle’s Nest Gymnasium from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3.
The event will be sponsored by the Puente Project, a national award-winning program that has improved the college-going rate of tens of thousands of California’s educationally underrepresented students in recent decades.
Students participating in the Puente Project work to build a better future for themselves and their families with the support of the Puente project. “Helping these students to have a successful college career is very important. I encourage others to join in supporting the Puente Project, which has built an excellent record of success in recent decades.”
Keynote speaker for the event will be Rafael Agustin, https://rafaelagustin.com/about, author of the memoir Illegally Yours and writer for Jane the Virgin, and CEO of the Latino Film Institute. Participating students will also hear messages from a number of other dynamic speakers and inspiring thinkers. They will also receive resources and support for their path to a four-year university and beyond.
“Puente is an educationally transformative program that is more than 40 years strong,” says Josefina E. Canchola, Director of Secondary Programs and Partnerships at the Puente Project’s Southern California office. “Puente opens up a path towards higher education in the most-needy communities in California by serving underrepresented students that might not otherwise consider pursuing a college degree. We pride ourselves in nurturing the leadership potential in each of our students and are proud of their intellectual, academic and personal growth and development during their Puente experience.”
“Puente Project helps students to self-identify as leaders,” says Canchola, who serves as Vice President of the Whittier Union High School District. “We have seen the impact of this leadership program in the many fields, including amazing elected leaders, legislative staff members, school administrators, teachers, and counselors.”
Students participating in the conference will receive a copy of ‘The Brightening,’ a newly published book by 14-year-old author Leila Sahabi of Glendale.
The book describes a world in which a young girl’s unwavering determination and desire to create a positive change overcomes her fears of powerlessness and insignificance. As a rising author, Leila wants to encourage her peers to pursue their passion.
“By publishing ‘The Brightening’ I want to highlight the importance of not being afraid to take the first steps and opening yourself up to the world of opportunities,” says Leila.
Some 25 career focused workshops are planned for students during the day. A parent’s academy will take the mystery out of the world of higher education as it covers topics such as Learning how to support your student on their road to college.
The Puente Project’s mission is to increase the number of educationally underrepresented students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn college degrees and return to the community as mentors and leaders to future generations. The program is interdisciplinary in approach, with writing, counseling and mentoring components.
Puente was founded in 1981 by Felix Galaviz and Patricia McGrath at Chabot College in Hayward, as a grassroots initiative to address the low rate of academic achievement among Mexican American and Latino students. To understand possible causes of a high dropout rate, they reviewed over 2,000 student transcripts. Three key patterns were noted among Latino students: students were avoiding academic counseling, students were not enrolling in college-level writing courses, and students were the first in their families to attend college. The Puente model that emerged in response to these patterns has three components: rigorous language arts instruction, sustained academic counseling, and community leadership development and mentoring.
The program has expanded to 6 middle schools, 38 high schools and 65 community colleges throughout the state. PUENTE staff train middle school, high school and community college instructors and counselors to implement a program of rigorous instruction, focused academic counseling, and mentoring by community members. Puente’s staff training programs have benefited approximately 300,000 students across the state. PUENTE is open to all students.
The Puente Project is co-sponsored by the University of California and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. Program headquarters are at UC Berkeley and site team partners — consisting of an instructor and counselor at each school/campus site — help to implement the program at middle schools, high schools and community colleges across California, Texas, and newly in Seattle, Washington.
Puente has programs at the statewide level in middle schools, high schools and community colleges. The majority of Puente students are likely to be the first in their families to pursue a college degree. Puente is open to all students, but given the demographics in California, the majority of its students are Latinx.
Checks payable to UC Berkeley Foundation can be mailed to Center for Educational Partnership – Puente Project, Hearst Field Annex, Building C, Berkeley, CA 94720. Donations may also be made online at https://www.thepuenteproject.org/support–us.
Further information on the Puente Project is available by calling 714-357-7728 or visiting [email protected].
ABOUT THE PUENTE PROJECT
Since 1981 he Puente Project’s mission has been to increase the number of educationally underrepresented students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn college degrees and return to the community as mentors and leaders to future generations. Puente staff train middle school, high school and community college instructors and counselors to implement a program of educational instruction, academic counseling, and mentoring to assist students. Puente’s staff training programs have benefited some 300,000 students across the state.
SOURCE The Puente Project
Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/puente-project-leadership-program-brings-1-100-ninth-graders-to-cal-state-la-to-explore-college-degree-paths-302047080.html
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