Recent Harvard University graduate Juan Hernandez-Campos will join educational leaders in Washington, D.C., today to discuss the benefits of after-school programs.
Quality after-school programs offer cost-effective, high-impact solutions to challenges that face youth, including violence, low graduation rates from high school and college, obesity, and lack of civic engagement and workforce readiness, according to a news release.
As a youngster, Hernandez-Campos was involved in Los Angeles after-school programs that helped him on his path to collegiate success.
He is one out of four After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles (ASAS-LA) alumni who have been identified for their admittance to Ivy League universities.
Founded by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, ASAS-LA provides after-school programs centered around health, fitness and nutrition; the visual and performing arts; and youth leadership and community service.
The organization serves 5,000 students daily across 37 schools located in deserving areas throughout LA County. Approximately 83 percent of the students in the program are of Hispanic heritage.
ASAS-LA is part of the national After-School All-Stars, which provides after-school programs serving more than 81,000 students in 12 cities.
Hernandez-Campos was involved in the programs as a middle-school student, and credits the organization for steering him on a successful educational path.
"We know that youth who attend our school-based programs gain social and academic skills, improve their self-esteem and health, discover their passions, experience new opportunities and interact with positive role models on a daily basis," said Ben Paul, CEO of After-School All-Stars.
"Federal programs like the 21st Century Community Learning Centers play a critical role in our ability to provide high-quality after-school programs that have led to student success in our sites across the country," he added.
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