Counselor Faculty (Umoja)
"I am an educator from Compton, CA who managed to complete degree requirements at a community college, transfer to UCLA, then later pursue graduate study at USC. As an African American, first-generation alum of community college from an underserved background, I cannot help but give recognition to all the growth and opportunities that attending community college has provided me."
Understanding Underserved Students
I am an educator from Compton, CA who managed to complete degree requirements at a community college, transfer to UCLA, then later pursue graduate study at USC.
As an African American, first-generation alum of community college from an underserved background, I cannot help but give recognition to all the growth and opportunities that attending community college has provided me.
Prior to my attending community college, I had no idea of the benefits and possibilities of attending college. Upon my completion and unexpected transfer to UCLA from El Camino Community College, I became much more knowledgeable and aware of how possible it is to achieve higher education.
My first-hand experiences with the unique challenges that often hinder underserved students is what fuels my burning desire to guide students at the community college level.
Serving as a Peer Mentor
Serving as a peer mentor for Compton College through the UCLA Center for Community College Partnerships (CCCP) was my first professional experience in the higher education sector. This experience assured me of who I am, what I’ve accomplished, and what field I am most passionate about.
Prior to my becoming a peer mentor, all of my work experience consisted of jobs at warehouses and fast-food restaurants. It was not until I transferred to UCLA from El Camino College that I was then introduced to college-going culture and professional opportunities outside of what I had been exposed to my entire life.
I will never forget the classroom presentations that I’ve conducted and the reactions that I would get from students when I shared with them that when I applied for the University of California Los Angeles, I had no idea that I was applying to “UCLA.”
In over two of the classroom presentations that I conducted, at least two students would disclose that they too did not know what UCLA stood for prior to my sharing about my transfer journey. Some students even acknowledged that they did not know it was possible to transfer into a university at a junior level from community college.
From such valuable interactions, I was inspired to pursue a Master of Education in Educational Counseling. I did this so I can place myself in a position to help minimize the achievement gap of underrepresented students from community colleges to four-year universities. With this lifelong desired goal, I am beyond proud and humbled to serve as a Counselor for the Umoja Community here at Mission College.