Last year, we served 3,660 high school and college students working toward their postsecondary degrees. Each of them is unique in their needs and the challenges they face, that’s why the service we provide them is truly one of a kind. Explore their inspiring stories, showcasing their college journeys and the impact of our mission.
My senior year began like any other, but I never would have imagined going from being a straight-A student to being in a jail cell. August 2018 marked the end of summer and a semester of college applications and planning for my future. I was still somewhat new to the school; I had just transferred from a school in Covina to Koreatown midway through the end of my junior year.
That’s when I first met my Fulfillment Fund College Counselor, Ms. Lee. She had come into our classroom and told us about how they help underrepresented communities and that she would be a resource to help me get into college. Our teachers encouraged us to participate in their College Access program and told us about the Fulfillment Fund scholarship. So, by the start of my senior year, I was already working with Ms. Lee on my college applications. I had everything going for me: the grades, extracurriculars, and the support I needed.
Because we root our work in student-centric strategies meant to empower our youth, most of our stories are from the perspective of students. We don’t often share those stories from the perspective of our counselors and team members who work in partnership with our youth. And what we don’t always share is how deeply and personally invested we are in our students—not because it’s our job, but because they are our community and because they are us. A large majority of our staff grew up in similar communities, have shared lived experiences, and are first-generation college grads and professionals.