How Upward Scholars tutors helped salvage an education

Like many Upward Scholars students, Obed came to the United States with limited formal education — six years to be exact. But Obed was determined not to let lack of formal schooling stand in his way. Soon after enrolling at Cañada College, Obed requested an Upward Scholars tutor. Andrea Bocobo, who was also a recent immigrant, began tutoring Obed when he was enrolled in intermediate ESL classes and continued to work with him until he completed English 100, the equivalent of college freshman English. They met weekly for two years.

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Linda Prieto
Alumnus profile: From line cook to civil engineer

When Upward Scholars alumnus Amado came to the US from Mexico in 2011, he started at zero. “I couldn’t communicate in English. I didn’t have a job. I didn’t have any experience in this country,” Amado says.

In June, Amado graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and two months later began work as a project engineer at WebCor Builders , a San Francisco-based general contractor.

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Linda Prieto
One student's story: From the impossible to the possible

When Isela came to the U.S. from Mexico seven years ago, she had no intention of continuing to study accounting, the career she’d chosen in her home country. “It seemed impossible,” Isela recalls. “I didn’t know English, so how could I be an accountant?”

But that all changed when Isela completed Cañada College’s rigorous ESL sequence and enrolled in a career development class that included a career assessment. Results of the assessment indicated that accounting was, indeed, the best career for her.

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Linda Prieto
How Upward Scholars helps combat food insecurity

Upward Scholars student Luis recently reduced his work schedule from 50 to 25 hours a week, so he’d have more time to study. While Luis’s finances are tight, he knows he’ll never go hungry while at college, thanks to the Upward Scholars food voucher program that enables students to pick up a free breakfast, lunch, and dinner while they’re on the Cañada College campus.

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Tania Ventura
Upward Scholars announces new Executive Director

Upward Scholars has announced that Dr. Linda Prieto will be the organization's new executive director starting Monday, October 22nd. Founder Elizabeth Weal will continue to play an active role in Upward Scholars, serving as an advisor and a member of the Upward Scholars Board.

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Tania Ventura