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Supporting the first-generation college experience

Updated: Jul 31, 2019


For many first-generation students, going to college for the first time is not only a personal achievement but a milestone for the entire family. Angelly is a first year student studying Biology at UC Santa Cruz. She is also a 2018 Mike Garcia Scholarship recipient. Angelly's journey to college began at a young age and with regular support and motivation from her parents. Angelly was encouraged to earn excellent grades in school which, as the eldest of her younger siblings, led her to set a strong example for the rest of her family. While Angelly excelled in school, her experience was not without its challenges. 


Angelly's family responsibilities and educational expectations led her to miss out on additional tutoring and extracurricular activities that other students in her high school benefited from. In her transition as a first year student at UC Santa Cruz, Angelly felt it was important that she integrate and participate in school activities. However, during her first year, she noticed an immediate cultural difference that she would have to navigate. While her fellow classmates did not need to find a job to pay for their expenses, Angelly would have to work her way through school. With the rising cost of tuition and other barriers, Angelly struggled to take full advantage of her undergraduate experience. 


Building Skills Partnership recognizes that the first-generation college experience can be both promising and daunting and strives to puts higher education opportunities within reach for students like Angelly. The Mike Garcia Scholarship helps alleviate financial barriers for hard working students to achieve their dreams of going to college, a goal that holds significance for both Angelly and her family. As a recipient of the scholarship, Angelly can focus on school and fully participate in school activities. As a part of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Angelly benefits from tutoring, reviews, and an adviser. Moreover, as a Semillas Scholar, a UCSC program for first-generation college students, Angelly meets with a peer mentor that has helped ease her transition into college. 


Angelly sees education as an opportunity to achieve her full potential. Her ultimate goal is to become a doctor or a researcher. She hope to provide bilingual health and wellness opportunities and access to people in undeserved communities. 

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Building Skills Partnership

Our mission is to improve the quality of life of low-wage property service workers and their families, by increasing their skills, access to education, and opportunities for career and community advancement. 

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