Student Success Stories

PHOTO: Jen Caballero

Jen Caballero

With a strong academic record and a 4.0 GPA, Jen would have been a strong candidate for UC Berkeley, but she never even thought about applying. As a first-generation student with Mexican and Choctaw heritage, she didn’t feel she would belong at Berkeley. Instead she started school at UC Davis, but dropped out and landed at De Anza Community College, where she came into contact with CEP’s Transfer...Read more
PHOTO: Michael Trevino

Michael Trevino

Growing up in rural California, Michael was not tracked for college; there was no “a-g” college preparatory curriculum and no SAT. Half of his high school “schedule” was work experience at McDonald’s and JC Penney. He worked in electronics right out of high school but eventually decided he needed a degree to break the glass ceiling. At Gavilan Community College, he ran into an English instructor...Read more
PHOTO: Paul Li

Paul Li

Paul teaches Cognitive Science at Stanford and UC Berkeley, has a graduate degree from Columbia, wrote a Cognitive Science textbook, and does research at the Gladstone Institutes at UCSF. Not the profile of the Paul Li you might have met at Thurgood Marshall High School in San Francisco. As the oldest of three, Paul comes from an immigrant family without many financial resources, but with a...Read more
PHOTO: Rosie Hernandez

Rosie Hernandez

Although Rosie grew up in Berkeley, the University could not have felt further away. In high school, she became aware of CEP’s Upward Bound program and it was through their mentoring, advice, and help that UC Berkeley became part of her future. Upward Bound helped Rosie prepare with SAT preparation, tutoring, summer courses, and application and financial aid support. Rosie made the leap to attend...Read more