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Student/Alumni Profiles
Angela

Angela My goal in life is to use my personal experiences as a catalyst for captivating the minds of America’s youth. My overall commitment to action is to create a platform for young boys and girls, of all ages, races, ethnicities, and religions, in search of an identity, to assert themselves in face of today’s obstacles, overcome adversity, and thus by doing so, adhere to their own sense of ‘uniqueness’ and embrace their potential to become future generation entrepreneurs and active members of society.

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Atziry

Atziry"My origins are in Michoacan in west-central Mexico. My grandfather gave me my name from the Aztec language. Studying at a world class university and volunteering to help young people prepare for a college education were transforming gifts that were unknown to me and my family until College Track became part of my life." 

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Ayinde
Ayinde

Peninsula School was not the most academic grade school but they built up my self-esteem. Even with this secure upbringing and small class sizes, I was not completely prepared academically. Going to Bellarmine College Prep was a big culture shock and College Track helped me with that transition. College Track helped me open up and be more vocal when I had problems with work and taught me how to manage my time with the overwhelming homework load. I was able to set regular study hours and set goals each day.

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Briceyda

briceyda.pngBriceyda Lopez could not be prouder to be a part of College Track. Briceyda first came into the organization in the summer of 2004 as an incoming freshman at the East Palo Alto site and credits College Track with helping her keep up her grades, with giving her the information she needed to choose a school and make sure she would be admitted, and most of all with offering her encouragement andfriendship through the hard times when she needed them the most. 

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Brianna

BriannaLaurene and Carlos came to a football game and we sat on the grass when they asked us if we wanted to go to college. We all said sure but had no idea how to do that. They said they were starting a new afterschool program called College Track. They were surprised that we had no idea about SAT, PSAT, how to sign up for testing, or what A – G requirements were. My mother just told me to take the most challenging work load but we did not know how to get into advanced classes. Our interest was piqued and we signed up. 

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Brittnee

st-brittnee.pngIn order for one to succeed in life they must first find something that motivates them. Throughout my childhood my motivation has always been my family and they continue to be my motivation in life now. However my family is not just my nucleus family of my parents and siblings. My family is always expanding to include new people resulting in new forms of motivation.

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Chris

ChrisCollege Track introduced me to the meaning of college, the why college is important question. I never knew what a FAFSA was or what "ward of the court" meant until joining the College Track family. I get so much respect now that I have been accepted to colleges like Dillard and Dominguez Hills and I now keep my head up high knowing that people are proud of me.

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Curtis

st-curtis.pngAs a military brat, I moved around a lot and never really had the opportunity to call a single place my hometown. That all changed when my mom retired and we moved to her hometown of East Palo Alto. As a freshman I had to adjust to a lot of new things including living in the states. I had spent the previous two years in Portugal so this move was a big adjustment. 

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Danielle

DanielleDanielle, a senior at Woodside High School, focused her considerable talents as well as a significant amount of her time towards city run volunteer projects. Danielle served for two years on the city's Youth Advisory Board and then moved up to the Teen Advisory Board. Danielle started her volunteer work with the Youth Involved in Leadership and Learning (YELL) program. Since that time, Danielle has been recognized as a leader among her peers.

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Danny

p-danny-epa.pngLearning from other people’s mistakes is my life model, but this is easier said than done. I grew up in a family where no one ever went to college. My mom and my brother, who I look up to, didn’t go to college. My brother didn’t even graduate from high school. After I spent my first year in high school I knew if I wanted to avoid being like my family. I wanted a college education, but I knew I would need some help.

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Darius

st-darius.pngI attended U-Prep in Oakland before it was shut down the summer of junior year. As a result, I ended up transferring to James Logan where I received no college help from the school's guidance counselor which essentially contributed to me being lost intransition.  In the end, I was fine because my plan was already set in stone by College Track and I knew I would be attending a college after high school graduation.

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David

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David graduated from College Track East Palo Alto in 2004. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2008. During College Track's Ratatouille event, David performed the following spoken word piece.

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Freddy

p-freddy_epa.png"I know I can be the change I want to see, if I work hard at it, then I’ll achieve everything that I am set out to be.” For me, change comes through pursuing a college education. I have been able to achieve my dreams with the help of College Track. College Track has molded and shaped me into the leader I am set out to be. College Track implanted the seed of hope that higher education can be reached.

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Jacky

st-jacky.pngCollege Track has given me the opportunity to create my foundation for success by enabling me  to overcome my toughest challenges and pursue my goals. One particular goal that no other member of my family has ever achieved is that of obtaining a degree in higher education.

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Jennifer

jennifer.pngComing to the United States as a 10-year old non-English speaking student, living in a single-parent household I faced many challenges. With family, community suppport, and strong determination I have exceeded my education goals as a young Latina.

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Jenny
Jenny

My mom was a single parent with a limited education; she had no way of knowing the path to and benefits of college. My middle school education did not prepare me for high school. Even so, I was placed in advanced high school classes and struggled. I thought I might fail. Then I joined College Track.

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Jesus

Jesus I graduated from the 8th grade at Ronald E. McNair Middle School and what I remember the most from McNair is my seventh grade teacher, Ms. Anderson, who did not give up and believed in me. Mrs. Anderson, my History and English teacher, gave me my strongest academic tool: she taught me how to write a five-paragraph essay, which had a great impact on me because I was going to need that skill all through high school and college. 

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Katherine

p-katherine-oak.png"College Track is the catalyst for change..." I would go on to finish the rest of College Track's mission statement but these are the words I find dearest to my heart. CT was and still is the catalyst for change. It has allowed me to be a part of a family of students who, like me, possess goals, aspirations and the strength to pursue higher education despite life's obstacles.

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Kyra

KyraKyra graduated from College Track East Palo Alto in 2006. She currently attends Bethany University and expects to graduate in 2010. In addition to enjoying spoken-word poetry, Kyra is an intern in College Track's Evaluation Department. During College Track's Ratatouille event, Kyra performed the following spoken word piece.

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Laura

Laura Laura began volunteering while in middle school and has given her time to many organizations and worthy causes. One of the most rewarding activities has been her weekend visits to Carlmont Gardens Nursing Home, where she has spent a large part of most every Sunday for the past three years bringing smiles and spreading good cheer among the residents.

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Liliana

p-sindy-epa.pngMy father left my mother when he found out she was pregnant, so I never had a paternal figure in my life. My mom left me in El Salvador at the age of 4, to come to the U.S., and I saw never her again until the age of 14. That time without her was challenging for me; I had to make my own decisions. Fortunately, those mistakes taught me to learn about how tough life was, and it forced me to mature at an early age. 

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Lizzy

st-lizzy.pngCollege Track not only enabled Lizzy to pursuit her dreams of higher education, it has enabled her to help others fulfill their dreams of going to college. What is even more impressive is the commitment she has made and continues to make to the East Palo Alto community.

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Luis

p-luis-epa.png "¡Prepara tus cosas; nos vamos a los Estados Unidos!" It means “Pack your things; we are leaving to the United States!” That was the last thing I was told before packing to leave my mother country, Mexico. I lived in Mexico until I was twelve years old. 

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Madia

MadiaThe war forced us to take refuge in a camp in Ghana, Africa. We walked for forty five days with no car, food or basic necessities. Many families experienced death, but luckily we survived the Ivory Coast.

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Marlene

st-marlene.png"I am a Latina at an institution of higher education; from a family with low income; from a neighborhood community lost in gang violence and a lack of resources and afterschool programs; an education system that fails to make everyone competitive college applicants and lets 'low-achievers' slip through the cracks in the system."

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Martha Angelica
Martha Angelica

Martha Angelica graduated from high school in 2001 and enrolled in the University of California, Davis. In 2006, she earned her degree in Sociology and Human Development. After college she worked at an outpatient drug treatment center in Marin County. Martha Angelica's goal is to move back to East Palo Alto, where she grew up, and use her expertise and Spanish language skills to help minority families and children.

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Melissa

st-melissa.pngBorn and raised in Oakland, California, I had to prove that I could excel amongst the people who wanted me to fail. Writing poetry became my friend at the age of ten. I wanted to create something that was challenging to the ear and the mind.

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Miriam

MiriamMiriam was a student at College Track’s East Palo Alto center and graduated from high school in 2001. Miriam attended the University of California, Berkeley and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Development Studies in 2006. After Berkeley, Miriam worked as a research associate at the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles. In 2007, Miriam returned to the Bay Area and started working for College Track as a project manager in the evaluation department.

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Rosa

RosaRosa has overcome family hardships and the tragic death of a beloved sister to poise herself for future success in school and in life. Using her sister's memory as an inspiration, as well as every available resource around her, Rosa has illustrated remarkable growth—including improving from being a non-English speaker in 6th grade to her current standing now in advanced placement courses such as English Literature. She credits programs like College Track and Summer Search as key resources.

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Sandra

SandraDuring my freshman year in high school, my grades faltered, I lacked focus and motivation and did not have the resources I needed in order to succeed. Then, I ran into Marshall Lott, who was recruiting students for a little program called College Track. All I heard was, “We will pay you to do your homework. It’s free money.” I seemed to hear what I wanted, selective listening, but it got me to sign up. I would soon come to realize that College Track was about much more than getting paid to do your homework and “free money.”

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Tevah

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"I'm getting education for me and my nation, Young people stereotyped, stand up generation. Funding was taken, so I am racing, but I'm steady pacing, just in case the sports thing don't work out, then I'ma work my brains out; because getting money is what I am about. Straight to my work, no more procrastinating, cause I know the rest of the world ain't really waiting."

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Valeska

ValeskaValeska is happy at Seattle University even though at application time, she only knew it as a checkbox on her common app. She was accepted to many great California universities, including her first choice USF. But SU offered her the best financial aid package, and when she visited she loved it. The head master of SHP, Mr. Everette, gave her the airline ticket to make this possible.

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briceyda.pngBriceyda Lopez could not be prouder to be a part of College Track. Briceyda first came into the organization in the summer of 2004 as an incoming freshman at the East Palo Alto site and credits College Track with helping her keep up her grades, with giving her the information she needed to choose a school and make sure she would be admitted, and most of all with offering her encouragement andfriendship through the hard times when she needed them the most. 

 
" EDUCATION IS THE PASSPORT TO THE FUTURE, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."
  Malcolm X
 
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