Charles Drew Middle School

Charles Drew Middle School

Welcome

Welcome to the GEAR UP 4 LA at Charles Drew Middle School. Our team serves the graduating classes of 2024 and 2025. We support students beginning in 7th grade to their 1st year of college. We offer services and programs which include college visits, holistic advising and counseling, mentoring, college courses, and student, family, and financial literacy workshops. We take pride in instilling 21st Century skills into our students to become college and career ready.

Our Staff

  • Tabitha Pang

    Site Coordinator

    • College: Occidental College, UCLA
    • Favorite Movie: Lord of the Rings Trilogy
    • Favorite Food: Jasmine Rice
    • Biggest Influence: My ladies – my mother, aunt, and grandmother are my biggest influence. They are strong, resilient, and generous women who inspire me and remind me that nothing is insurmountable.
    • Why I LOVE My Job: Empowering students and their families to realize their dreams and potential is incredibly rewarding. Having spent over a decade as a middle school educator, I am thankful that I can continue the important work of ensuring the success of our students and communities as a site coordinator.
  • Sergio Ceja

    Counselor

    • College: Undergraduate:  Cal Poly Pomona  Graduate: CSUN
    • Favorite Movie: The Wizard of Oz
    • Favorite Food: Chilaquiles
    • Biggest Influence: My parents are my biggest influence because they gave up so much to give their children a better life and they instilled compassion, hard work, discipline, and resiliency to all of us.
    • Why I LOVE My JOB: I love seeing the academic and personal growth in students and their resilient spirits that constantly overcome tremendous obstacles. In high school, I was fortunate enough to have passionate adults who believed in me and helped me create my own choices, now I want to share that same passion with these students.
  • Kevonna McKissick

    Academic Advisor

    • College: California State University, Long Beach
    • Favorite Movie: Sydney White
    • Favorite Food: Crab Legs
    • Biggest Influence:  My parents! They have shown me a great representation of what hard work and dedication should look like to be effective in every area of life.
    • Why I LOVE My JOB: I love my job because it gives me the opportunity to motivate and support students throughout their academic journey.
  • Daniel Andrade

    Academic Advisor

    • College: California State University, Dominguez Hills
    • Favorite Movie: Harry Potter Series
    • Favorite Food: Pupusas
    • Biggest Influence: My biggest influence are my parents. Being the product of an immigrant father and teen mother, I witnessed their constant perseverance and work ethic to give my family a comfortable and simple life.
    • Why I LOVE My JOB: I love my job because I get the opportunity to share my own journey and inspire young, curious minds. I work to give the students opportunities to establish and reach their goals. I also love that I will get to witness their journey and watch them grow and develop into contributing members of society.
  • Ashley Mendoza

    Academic Advisor

    • College: University of California, Irvine (UCI)
    • Favorite Movie: The Big Short, Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban
    • Favorite Food: My favorite food is soup, really any kind especially during rainy days.
    • Biggest Influence: My biggest influence is my mom because I see how hard she works every day, and I aspire to be half as hard-working as she is. I appreciate all that my mom has sacrificed for me to achieve an education and hope to continue making her proud of me. Being the oldest of three, I want to be a positive influence on my sisters and show them that college is attainable and worth every effort and sacrifice.
    • Why I LOVE My JOB: I love my job because I have an opportunity to help out students the way my counselors and teachers helped guide me.  I am also super grateful to be working with a team of people that are also passionate about providing equitable access to resources and guidance to provide students the choice to thrive in higher education.