In partnership with the i.am Angel Foundation, College Track opened our first center in Los Angeles, in the community of Boyle Heights. Since 2012, we have grown to serve 525 scholars from nearby Roosevelt High School. In spring 2020, we celebrated our first class of college graduates.
One of Los Angeles’ oldest neighborhoods, Boyle Heights is a vibrant community with a rich history. The area’s predominantly Latinx population takes great pride in sharing their culture with the broader Los Angeles community. Yet today, only 6 percent of Boyle Heights residents hold a bachelor’s degree2, a trend that holds back future generations from unleashing their full potential and lending their unique talents to Los Angeles and beyond.
The Joe K. Gardner Memorial Fund
The Joe K. Gardner Memorial Fund honors the legacy of College Track Site Director, Joe K. Gardner, and the indelible impact on College Track scholars and the people with and for whom he did this work. Contributions will support emergency funds for College Track scholars, which provide vital resources to ensure that our students remain on track to earn their bachelor’s degree, despite unexpected financial hardships. Funds will be used to cover crucial, unforeseen expenses that would otherwise pose significant roadblocks in our scholars’ ability to persist through college, including housing, food, medical, tuition, transportation, and technology.
A View Inside…
Right across the bridge from Downtown Los Angeles sits our treasured center, a space as dazzling, creative, and diverse as the city it inhabits. Our students’ dreams are on display each day, both figuratively and literally! Massive wood cutouts of college campuses across the country, from UC San Diego to Middlebury College, span the perimeter of the main room, so when students come in for their workshops or stand together, arm-in-arm, for Unity Circle, they have a constant reminder of why they’re here and what possibilities await them.
Who We Serve
students currently enrolled
matriculate to a two- or four-year college
Scholar Spotlight: Nivia, University of California Merced
Through College Track, I found a valuable community of support not only with my academics but also financially and emotionally. My Site Director explained DACA and AB540 status to me early on, helping me find an immigration attorney. I know that the only way I will get a seat at the table is to get my college degree. I refuse to let fear get in the way…
I was UC Merced’s College Track Cohort Leader my freshman year, a Fiat Lux and STEP scholar, and continue to be involved in on- and off-campus groups and associations, including Delta Delta Delta, the American Medical Student Association, Lift While You Lead Women’s Mentorship, SoCal Can Mentorship Program, and Hermanas Unidas. I plan to graduate within four years and go on to medical school to specialize in Pediatrics or become a General Practitioner. I volunteer in my Merced community through homeless/women’s care package distributions, clean-ups, Relay for Life events, and the hospital’s hospice, where I can meet and care for patients weekly.
As a first-generation, low-income, undocumented Latina student, I will face adversity. Despite the obstacles I may face, I refuse to shy away from obstacles just because of my citizenship status. I am so thankful to College Track for helping me fulfill the gap between my dream and my ambition.