Where We Work


The South Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts is known for the riots of 1965 and the resulting economic and social impact on the community. Today, one-third of Watt’s residents have a high school diploma, and only three percent of the population has earned a college degree. Students in Watts face many obstacles getting into and graduating from college. From schools that lack the resources to ensure they have a high-quality education to growing up in a historically disenfranchised community. These young people are just as motivated, intellectually curious, committed, and creative as children anywhere, but they aren’t getting the opportunity to succeed.

College Track is determined to make college an expectation not the exception in Watts. Our partnership with the Wasserman Foundation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, and Green Dot brings new educational resources to the community. In 2015, College Track launched its eighth site with a cohort of 75 students from Jordan High School. We will add 75 new students every year growing to 300 high school students by 2019. Led by Site Director Marisa Ramirez, College Track Watts will provide students with the support and commitment they need to enroll in and graduate from college.

Key Stats

  • Year Started2015
  • Size of Initial Cohort60
  • High School Enrollment92
  • First High School Graduates2019

College Track Watts Team

  • Saskia PallaisRegional Executive Director, Los Angeles

  • Zoe MelczerRegional Partnerships Director, Los Angeles

  • Xochiltl BravoDevelopment Director, Los Angeles

  • Marisa RamirezSite Director

  • Tatiana AlfaroOperations Manager

  • Liliana FunesInterim Academic Affairs Director

  • Jacqueline AmparoCollege Completion Director

  • Christopher LimStudent Life Director

Local Advisory Board

  • Laura Wasserman

  • Tamara HoustonFounder & CEO, ICON MANN and Roundtable Entertainment

  • Tracey MonroeExecutive Director, UBS Asset Management

  • Chris PaulProfessional Basketball Player, National Basketball Association

  • Antonio VillaraigosaFormer Mayor of Los Angeles

  • Prophet WalkerCEO and Co-founder, Treehouse Co-living

2265 E 103 Street
Los Angeles, CA 90002
Phone 323-621-6740 ex. 230