Local High School Students Participate in Transformational College Workshop


Los Angeles, CA – On Saturday, October 14th, over 100 local high school students and their parents participated in a college application and financial aid workshop at Fairfax High School. The workshop titled Your Path to the UC, was hosted by the office of Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica,) in partnership with LAUSD Boardmember Nick Melvoin, Greenway Arts Alliance and UCLA.  The participating students came from Fairfax Senior High School, and nearby Hollywood Senior High School, as well as LACES, Narbonne High School and Westchester High School.

The day began with remarks from Boardmember Melvoin encouraging the students to persevere in the application process.  Senator Allen, via video message, urged students to take advantage of resources and ask important questions about college life. Barry Chaiverra, Assistant Director of UCLA Undergraduate Admissions, provided a detailed presentation about the nine University of California campuses and the minutiae of the application, highlighting tips and mistakes to avoid. Dana Tate, a UCLA Financial Aid Counselor, painstakingly answered parents’ questions about the intricacies of the FAFSA application, financial aid requirements and suggestions for students who qualify for AB 540. From there, the students broke up into smaller mentoring groups led by Bruin Ambassadors, current UCLA students trained in the application process.

The workshop was the first of its kind for Fairfax High School, but UCLA staff and the high school students participating expressed the hope that the workshop could become an annual event.

Fairfax High School Assistant Principal, Leonard Choi shared, “I spoke with several students and they thoroughly enjoyed the event, especially the breakout session.  They felt it was helpful in getting their questions answered and they felt better equipped to complete the UC application.  The parents really felt this information was important and wished other families were there [too.]“

“Many of the students we were able to serve with this workshop day are the first in their families to be applying to college and need extra support and guidance. A kid’s entire life trajectory can be transformed for the better by getting on the path to college and attaining a degree. I’m inspired by all of the students who woke up early on Saturday to access the resources and knowledge provided by UCLA staff and volunteers. I will keep working to expand educational opportunity for all kids in our community,” said Senator Ben Allen, Chair of the Senate Education Committee.