Costa Mesa, CA — On June 7, 2018 the SOS First in Family College Readiness Program celebrated the achievements of 32 low-income first-generation high school seniors with a special event held at the SOS Community Health Center. The program prepares students for success in college by supplying them with laptop computers, dorm room essentials, money for textbooks, and more. SOS also helped participants select new professional attire outfits for a school presentation that they can use for job interviews and other formal occasions in the future. By working with their college guidance counselors, SOS is also ensuring that they will have the support they need once in college.
Participants in this year’s project were high school seniors from Newport Harbor High School, Costa Mesa High School, and Estancia High School. Each student was recommended to SOS by an advocate at their school because of their determination to overcome difficult circumstances to succeed. They also submitted an application and wrote a personal statement describing why they should be considered for this project, as well as confirmed their attendance at a college or university in the fall.
All the participants will either be the first in their family to attend college, or part of the first generation in their family to do so. Some of the schools they will be attending are the University of California, Los Angeles; Chapman University; Culinary Institute of America College; California State University, Fullerton; San Francisco State University; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; and Orange Coast College. Here are a few of their stories (we have changed their names to protect their identities):