Jeffrey Camarillo Delivers Keynote Address To College Track Students Who Are Launching to College
College Track, a national college completion program that empowers students from underserved communities to graduate from college, will hold its fourteenth annual graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 21st at Electronic Arts. A total of 194 high school and college students will participate in the ceremony, including graduates from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Howard University, and San Francisco State.
Jeffrey Camarillo, founding Director and Principal of the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy, a new college-prep charter high school in East San Jose, will deliver the keynote address. Through education, Camarillo’s father and hero, Professor Al Camarillo, was able to break the cycle of poverty in his family and open countless doors for students and faculty at Stanford University (and beyond) to explore the history and identity of Mexican-Americans and other ethnic Americans. His example inspired Camarillo to work tirelessly for the past 14 years to enhance the educational opportunities for young people from disadvantaged urban communities throughout California.
Like Camarillo, College Track believes the most powerful way to transform underserved communities is through education—one student at a time. By providing academic support, leadership training, and community enrichment—the kind of support you expect from a second family—our students are thriving at school and in their careers. College Track students who obtain a college degree have a tremendous impact on their friends, families, and local communities. They become job creators, mentors, and leaders. They know a college education is the gateway to a better future.
“I wouldn't have made it at Howard University if it weren't for College Track. They were the wind beneath my wings that took me to new and exciting terrain, teaching me that when you want something, you can make it happen,” shared Marcus Simpson, a College Track Oakland alumnus from the class of 2010. “Making it here was not easy; a lot of my childhood trauma resurfaced while I was away at college. I felt out of place and was ready to give it all up but College Track helped me get back on track. Now that I’ve earned by B.A. in Economics, I want to start my own business and become an entrepreneur. I want to return to the community that got me here and pay it forward.”
College Track’s successful record, including a 93% four-year college acceptance rate and a college graduation rate that is 2.5 times the national average for low-income students, has garnered the support of Chase, College Track’s Lead California Financial Services Partner.
"Chase is honored to partner with College Track as they continue their important mission to educate and advance the next generation. As we salute the 2015 graduating class, we hope it includes at least a few future Chase executives," said Alice Rodriguez, Executive Vice President for Chase Business Banking.
About College Track
College Track is a national college completion program that empowers students from underserved communities to graduate from college. From the summer before 9th grade through college graduation, our 10-year program removes barriers that prevent students from earning their college degree by providing them with comprehensive academic support, leadership training, college and financial aid advising, and scholarships. We teach them the skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond.
Over the past 17 years, College Track has demonstrated a record of success. Today, 93% of our high school seniors have been accepted to four-year colleges and our college students are graduating at a rate 2.5 times the national average for low-income students. In the 2014-2015 academic year, we served over 2,000 students across seven sites in East Palo Alto, Oakland, San Francisco, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Aurora, Colorado. For more information, visit www.collegetrack.org and follow us on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram.