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Compton College sends former foster youth down UCLA path

“Compton College gave me the confidence to move beyond a feeling of inferiority to the realization that I am very capable”

Former foster youth Dayshawn Louden accepted to several four-year colleges and universities; UCLA best fit with future goals

COMPTON – A former ward of the foster care system who earned an associate of arts degree from Compton College, is currently continuing his educational ascent at UCLA.

Compton Herald | foster youth

Compton College alumni Dayshawn Louden. Photo: courtesy Compton College

That’s already a story of triumph for Compton College alumni Dayshawn Louden, a political science major, who received his associate degree in June.

Statistics show that young men of color are less likely to enroll in and graduate from college than their peers of other ethnic origins. In fact, only 7 percent of Black men in the U.S. earn an associate degree, and 17 percent have a bachelor’s degree. Louden aims to help improve those statistics leading by example.

Louden is a former foster youth from Carson, Calif., who was in the inaugural graduating class of New Millennium Secondary School in 2012. He is the recipient of a Chancellor’s Blue and Gold Scholarship, which covers his next two years of university expenses.

Louden began his university experience on the right foot, completing three classes via UCLA’s seven-week Summer Transfer session offered through the university’s Academic Advancement Program. The Summer Transfer program gives students experience with the academic demands of UCLA, different aspects of student life, and helps them become comfortable as a UC student.

Upon graduation from Compton College, Louden was accepted to all of the four-year colleges and universities he applied to, but UCLA fit his future goals the best. Louden says he selected UCLA because he hopes to help young men like himself who have historically lacked resources and access to educational opportunities. He is particularly interested in working with Compton native and UCLA professor Tyrone Howard, UCLA’s Associate Dean of Equity & Inclusion and author of the book, “Why Race and Culture Matter in Schools.”

Louden, who is minoring in education policy, plans to continue his studies to earn a master’s degree and his doctorate. He hopes to one day establish an “innovative middle school that is successful in closing the achievement gap.”

“Compton College gave me the confidence to move beyond a feeling of inferiority to the realization that I am very capable,” Louden said. “The faculty and staff provide the tools and resources to help students succeed. They helped me realize I am important and valuable.”

While at Compton College, Louden served as vice president of the Associated Student Body alongside Joshua Jackson, who served as ASB president and also transferred to UCLA after graduating from Compton College this year.

“Compton College believes in its students,” said Louden. “The professors will stay longer during their office hours, are quick to offer feedback, and will find out how to help you if you seem down or discouraged. I urge students to push and challenge themselves and see how far they can go. Do not be afraid to fail; you grow from mistakes – this is what Compton College taught me.”

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Los Angeles County, California, and the world.


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