My academic experience as a first-generation college graduate was
challenging but earning a degree was not impossible. Given that my parents did not go to school in the US they didn't have personal experience with the college preparation process in high school, however,
my mother's involvement with PIQE gave her the tools to help me be successful during k-12 and to graduate from UC Berkeley. I'm grateful for PIQE's work in teaching my mother how to navigate through the education system which helped me get accepted into numerous universities throughout the states.
Leo Alva graduated from University California, Berkeley in May with a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies. He will be attending Mills College to pursue a post-baccalaureate certificate and will apply to medical school in two years.
"Over the past 8 years, my mother graduated from PIQE's different programs over three times (at Highland Elementary, Green Acrees Middle and Redwood High School). Since I was young my parents always encouraged me to do well in school, however, they didn't understand how the school system worked or how to help me. It all changed with PIQE.
After PIQE, on a daily basis, my mom asked about my homework and constantly checked my grades. In addition, in the program she learned about the resources available for students, such as AVID. Therefore, my mom made sure that I participated in AVID throughout my high school years. Parents assume that by sending their kids to school their children will automatically succeed in school. Yet, I believe parents need to know that they need to dedicate extra effort to help their children be successful in school; as my parents did. This is why PIQE is so important".
This month Aristeo Daniel Herrera graduated from El Diamante High School in Visalia, CA. He will be attending California State University, Sacramento this upcoming Fall 2016 semester. His goal is to become a high school history teacher.
"My mother's participation in PIQE's program during my senior year in high school was life changing. At that time I was undecided about a 4 year university or a junior college because being a dreamer did not allow me to received financial aid. Through PIQE, my mom learned about different programs, resources and requirements needed to attend college. It was fascinating coming home and having my mom talk about what she'd learned about the school system and college. I attended one of the sessions with my mom and I spoke with the PIQE facilitator. The facilitator gave me encouragement, hope and a list of scholarships to apply for. A scholarship from PIQE was the first scholarship I received; it was one of the most meaningful ones because it allow me to believe that my dream was possible and it put me a step closer towards college. Also, later on,I became a coordinator for PIQE because I knew the importance of parent involvement and the positive impact it can have. I am so grateful with PIQE because now I know that "Everything is possible".
Jose Paredes received a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources from California State University, Stanislaus. He is currently gaining work experience in his field of study and will pursue a Master's Degree in Business Administration in two years.