Parent Ambassadors Take College Knowledge to New Level at UCLA

A group of GEAR UP parent advocates – known as Parent Ambassadors – spent a weekend in August at UCLA, living in the dorms, exploring academics and participating in college knowledge and financial aid workshops, opening their eyes to new possibilities for their children.

As part of an intensive two-day Parent Ambassador Training at UCLA – held in collaboration with the Chicano-a Latino-a Educational Foundation (CLEF) – 27 attendees learned what it takes to prepare for a higher education, how to share college preparatory information and how to become a pre-college advisor to students and families within their school community.

“We always think our situation won’t allow our children to go to college. It can be done as long as you have the right information. It doesn’t cost us anything. We’re investing time in our children’s future.”

Adriana Gonzalez, #GEARUPworks parent

Parent ambassadors support GEAR UP’s efforts to empower themselves and other families with college and financial aid information and demystify the college-going process. They attend monthly meetings and participate in workshops to advance their higher education knowledge.

After touring the UCLA campus and learning about its programs, parents dove into the four systems of higher education, learned about UC/CSU admission requirements, and explored financial aid and scholarship resources to help pay for college. To cap off the event, parents heard from current UCLA students and participated in a trivia game testing their newfound knowledge.

“I’m glad that I was invited to participate in this event,” #GEARUPworks parent Oscar Garcia said. “I felt motivated to show my son what it’s like to live in this university and to give him an idea of what it’s like in this type of environment. It’s also good because you can also make friends and meet new people.”

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