Scholarship students meet with the alumni who help make college dreams a reality

November 19, 2014

By  

Last week, 30 scholarship students from across campus were invited to meet and mingle with the UCSC alumni who helped make their college dreams a reality. In attendance was Ezequiel Olvera Jr (Oakes, '07, Business Management/Economics), CEO of The Gumball Foundation, an organization that engages middle and high school students in an extracurricular business program. Students run their own small scale vending machine business with funds going towards their college education.

Also in attendance was Ford Roosevelt (College 8, '79, Sociology and teaching credential), President of Project Grad Los Angeles, an organization that provides first generation students the emotional guidance and support to go to college.

At the event, students shared their emotional journeys and obstacles they had to overcome to get to campus.

“If it wasn’t for Project Grad, I wouldn’t be here,” said one student who wishes to remain anonymous.

“In ninth and tenth grade we see students bumping against struggles,” said Roosevelt. He sites examples like a difficult teacher, a bad grade, or a home environment that is too noisy to do homework in. “At Project Grad we teach grit. We provide the strategies and the emotional skills to learn how to deal with these situations,” he shared.

"It is an honor for us to host these outstanding students who have worked so hard to gain admission at UC Santa Cruz.” Remarks Dean of Social Sciences, Sheldon Kamieniecki.

“We hope that they all will succeed and have very productive lives," he adds.

From UC Santa Cruz, Associate Chancellor and Chief of Staff, Ashish Asani as well as Associate Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management, Michelle Wittingham and Lead Academic Counselor of Educational Opportunity Programs, Peggy Rose also attended.  

Ford Roosevelt and Ezequiel Olvera Jr are both members of the Social Sciences Board of Councilors.

Alumnus Ezequiel Olvera Jr (Oakes, '07, Business Management/Economics) is CEO of The Gumball Foundation, an organization that engages middle and high school students in an extracurricular business program. His foundation has made it possible to matriculate students at UC Santa Cruz.

UC Santa Cruz Associate Chancellor and Chief of Staff, Ashish Asani delivered inpiring remarks at the luncheon.

Scholarship students meet over a lunch.

Students shared their personal involvement with each of the foundations.

Ford Roosevelt, alumnus and President of Project Grad Los Angeles, jokes with one of his students.

Watch

UC Santa Cruz en Español! UC Santa Cruz received recognition of being first in the country for Hispanic/Latino students. Univision covered the story at the Project Grad and Gumballs event.

See Also