Compton College Upward Bound
Cassaundra Cabrera has been accepted to three University of California campuses: UCLA, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Barbara. Courtesy Compton College Program helps high school students succeed in their educational goals; two headed to University of
Cassaundra Cabrera has been accepted to three University of California campuses: UCLA, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Barbara. Courtesy Compton College
Program helps high school students succeed in their educational goals; two headed to University of California
COMPTON — Compton College’s Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) program aims to help Compton High School and Dominguez High School students graduate, enroll in college, and successfully earn degrees. UBMS provides students with the academic discipline, knowledge, and resources needed to successfully enter higher education.
Established as part of the Department of Higher Education’s TRIO initiative, UBMS was created with the goal of removing barriers to access and success in higher education. The program services high school students from financially challenged families, as well as those from families where neither parent earned a bachelor’s degree. UBMS helps students improve their pre-college performance and, ultimately, their higher education pursuits.
UBMS helps local students from Compton and Dominguez High Schools successfully enter four-year colleges and universities upon graduation. Cassandra Cabrera from Dominguez High School and Christian Rosa from Compton High School are currently seniors who have participated in the UBMS program at Compton College for four years. Both students are valedictorians at their respective high schools who preparing to attend four-year universities next fall.
Cabrera has been accepted to three University of California campuses: UCLA, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Barbara. She is awaiting scholarship award notices prior to making her final decision on which university she will attend. Her ultimate goal is to continue her education up to the doctorate level. She is uncertain about her major but says she is drawn to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and is currently leaning toward pursuing a career in environmental engineering. Cabrera, who is bilingual, would like to study abroad during college in either Europe or Asia so she can have the opportunity to travel, learn about other cultures, and immerse herself in different languages.
She credits the UBMS program with helping her achieve her higher education goals. She was introduced to numerous colleges and universities through a Northern California University tour. She also participated in the UBMS summer program and several informational workshops, ranging from college panels to tips on financial aid and college admissions.
“Beyond opening my horizons to colleges and its process, UBMS has been a second family that has given me unconditional support throughout my four years in high school. When in doubt, I can always seek guidance and advice from the staff all-year-round,” said Cabrera “What I value the most about this program is the continuous encouragement I receive, reminding me to be proud of where I’m from and to hold my head high wherever I end up going.”
Compton High School student Christian Rosa plans to attend a University of California campus on a pre-med track. He has been accepted to four UC campuses: UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and UC San Diego. He is also awaiting scholarship award notices before making a decision on where he will land next fall. Rosa’s current goal is to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. He is interested in how various heart diseases can be combated through surgery. He has volunteered at St. Francis Medical Center for the past two years to further his knowledge in the medical field.
Rosa attributes Compton College’s UBMS program with helping him prepare for college and the career he wishes to pursue in the future by emphasizing a STEM curriculum and offering a variety of useful workshops. He says the SAT workshops were especially helpful and allowed him to practice important skills needed to do well on his SAT exam.
“I love the tight-knit relationships that have developed between the students and UBMS staff over the years, said Rosa. At UBMS, we are like a huge family that comes together and celebrates our fellow students’ successes, while providing endless support and motivation to all.”
In addition to the focused curriculum, students gain exposure to industry professionals within the math and science fields, participate in field trips to cultural, academic and educational events, and make new friends with their peers who share similar interests. The course options include an 18-session Saturday Academy during the regular school year and a six-week Summer Program. In addition, the program provides four parent workshops per year to provide information about the college process and help develop a college-going culture for participating families.
A highlight of the UBMS Summer Program is spending finals week at a local four-year university so participants can get a hands-on perspective of college life. The students stay in the dorms, take their finals in lecture halls and may use some of the university resources such as computer labs. The program provides academic, counseling and tutoring services, SAT/ACT test preparation, guest speakers and field trips. Year-round support is also provided to assist students through the entire university enrollment process.
The Upward Bound Math and Science program is free to students and is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. For more information or to enroll in the program for next fall, contact LeShawn Simplis-Barnes, Compton College UBMS program manager, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website: www.compton.edu/studentservices/supportservices/trio/