One of the biggest internal obstacles that I had to overcome was my self-confidence, believing that a young Latino from a socio-economically disadvantaged background could be capable of not only making it to college, but also making a name for myself once I got there. College Summit helped me beat this obstacle.
As a Peer Leader, I made weekly announcements to the entire school on upcoming deadlines for applications and scholarships, acknowledging those who were recently accepted and awarded financial aid. My team held FAFSA workshops and ran campaigns to raise awareness for all the leftover financial aid because students didn’t apply for it, and we attempted to match students up with potential universities that meet their academic needs and interests.
When I got to UCLA, not only did I begin to develop research projects that focused on eliminating achievement gaps within urban communities, but I also became active in tutoring and mentoring programs with local Los Angeles high schools to work hands-on with students and try to continue embodying the very mission that College Summit stands for. I’m a living example of it. I’m headed to the University of Chicago for my Ph.D!