Door-to-door campaign pushes college diplomas

first_img“The idea is that we give these families the exposure they wouldn’t get otherwise because of a lack of resources or because of their economic conditions.” For parents like Yadira Reyes, whose son Gerardo is in third grade, the early morning knock is not a nuisance – it’s a welcome visit. “It is great to know that his school is involved in programs like these, they can help me stress to him the importance of college,” she said. Sisters Claudia and Vilma Lopez signed up with Project GRAD when they were freshmen at San Fernando High School. Now in their last year at California State University, Northridge, they said the program was instrumental to their success. “There are two of us and we are the first to go to college in our family,” Vilma Lopez said. “This gave us all the information we needed for college. Our parents don’t know these things.” Vilma, a history major, said she was so inspired by the Project GRAD program, she plans to become a teacher herself. “It comes full circle,” she said. [email protected] (818) 713-3634160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ARLETA – As Laura Hurtada knocked on her last door of the morning, the energetic mother of four could not hold back her smile. Just four years earlier, Hurtada had been on the other side of the door when a volunteer from Project GRAD came to talk about her daughter’s future education. She made a commitment then to get Brenda, then just a sixth-grader, through college, and worked all day Saturday to elicit the same promise from other parents. “Most parents don’t even think about college, they think they can’t afford it, they are scared and don’t have enough information,” Hurtada said. “But with this program there are workshops, and support … it makes you feel like you are a part of the process.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Now Hurtada joins in every year to volunteer her time and get other parents involved. “At first I was nervous about knocking,” Hurtada said. “I thought people would slam the door on me but it’s amazing how people receieve you once they know you are there to help their children.” The Walk for Success program is a key component organized by Project GRAD, a nine-year-old nonprofit organization now operating in 13 Los Angeles schools. It offers scholarships up to $6,000 to students who graduate from high school and go on to college. The act of going door-to-door and getting parents to sign contracts is key to the success of the program, explained Nancy Garcia, a Project GRAD representative at Beachy Avenue Elementary. last_img read more