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Honoring our College Bound Graduating Seniors

On May 29 at 6:00 pm at the Warner Grand Theatre, we will honor our College Bound graduating seniors from San Pedro and Wilmington at our 8th Annual College Bound Celebration.

Many high school students devote their time and energy on pursuing their dreams of going to college. With all of the obstacles youth face – including financial barriers, strict application requirements, balancing extracurricular activities, unsafe environments, peer pressure, and family obligations – it’s always cause to celebrate when they have successfully navigated their way to high school graduation. Our College Bound program provides students with the resources and attention they need to overcome these obstacles.

Elizabeth Machadois one of the graduating seniors from our San Pedro Club who will be honored at the Celebration as one of our highest achieving students. Elizabeth is a San Pedro High School senior and was accepted into several top universities including an Ivy League school before choosing to go to UCLA in the fall. She is a first generation Mexican American and her family has experienced much success thanks to College Bound. Her cousin and brother both completed the program and will return to San Pedro from their four-year universities to celebrate with Elizabeth. Her younger brother is working hard with College Bound case managers to match his sister’s accomplishments in a couple of years.

“The College Bound program gave me the support I needed as I applied to rigorous schools and countless scholarships. I am thankful that the staff gave me the “push” I needed to get them completed within deadlines.” – Elizabeth

Francisco Hinojosa is a Banning High School graduate from the Wilmington Club who has overcome social and financial struggles to accomplish his dreams. He will attend UC Santa Barbara in the fall as the first in his family to go to college. He was raised in a low income household by parents who each work two jobs to support their family which required Francisco to take on a part-time job to help. Despite these hardships, Francisco was able to balance school, extra-curricular activities, community service and his job to get good grades. Thanks to the support of the College Bound program in helping him keep up his grades and complete his applications, Francisco earned the financial aid and scholarships to make his dreams a reality.

“I can honestly say that if I would’ve never joined the Club and the College Bound program, I would be lost. I would’ve never known my full potential as a person and abilities to go to college,” – Francisco.

Kimberly Melendez is a senior at Banning High School, attends our Wilmington Club and will attend UC Berkeley in the fall. As she was preparing her college applications with the guidance of our College Bound case managers, she spoke of the many challenges she faced when she entered high school. Many of the youth in her neighborhood fell into gang life or dealt with teen pregnancy. The Boys & Girls Club became a place that she could escape and make friends with peers who shared similar goals. Despite seeing her friends succumb to distractions, Kimberly focused on her school work and will graduate as an AP scholar for her high marks on multiple Advanced Placement exams.

“The College Bound Program has provided me with the foundation and fundamentals I needed to go onto my dream college. The staff here are like family to me. – Kimberly

Joshua Villanueva attends our San Pedro Club and will graduate from San Pedro High School to attend San Jose State University in the fall. For Joshua, the Club has been like a second home for many years. He joined the College Bound program in 6th grade which helped him keep his grades up in middle school to take college ready classes in high school. Joshua’s parents worked very hard to support their family and, as a result, were not very present at home. However, they did encourage him to participate in extracurricular activities and join Boys & Girls Club programs to stay on the right track. He will graduate with a San Pedro Pirate Boosters scholarship for his accomplishments as a student athlete on the basketball team.

“Honestly if I didn’t have College Bound I would not be going to college. You guys made the process of picking schools easy and made my experience of high school more fun filled.” – Joshua

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