Here's some nice news on the Hispanic academic front. About 80 Santa Ana, Calif., high school students who thought higher education was out of their grasp are off to Notre Dame, UCLA and Denison College, among other top-tier schools.
The Nicholas Academic Centers (NACs) program was able to support students who overcame financial hardships and language and cultural barriers to grasp the dream of higher education. That's exactly what the NAC program is all about, according to a news release.
Christine Rivas is headed for the University of California, Los Angeles this fall. She faced significant financial challenges as well as great responsibilities at home after her mother died. Her father is disabled, adding to the weight on her young shoulders.
The hours invested in NAC programs paid off, however. Following some of the darkest times in her young life, Rivas was accepted to both UC Berkeley and UCLA. She selected UCLA in order to be closer to her father in Santa Ana, and plans to pursue a degree in health sciences.
Katrina Linden is taking her place among the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame on a full-ride scholarship to study law and politics. She used NAC's resources in math and biology tutoring, and received an HEID Foundation scholarship through the Santa Ana Unified School District.
Ana Aguilar is the first of her family to go to college. A graduate of the first class of NAC, the Santa Ana High School alum is taking her bachelor's degree in communications at Denison College this fall.
Her younger sister, Jessica Aguilar, will join her there as a freshman.
The NAC's fourth annual graduation celebration, on June 9 in Santa Ana, will honor 80 graduating high school students who have averaged some 500 hours at NAC's after-school tutoring and mentoring programs.
The Nicholas Academic Center was established in 2008 by Dr. Henry T. Nicholas III in partnership with retired Judge Jack K. Mandel. The NAC strives to provide academic assistance, social services, cultural enrichment programs, college connection opportunities and need-based scholarship opportunities for students who meet the program requirements.
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