Two representatives of UC San Diego Extension’s Academic Connections took a road trip on May 21 to Los Angeles, where they met with six specially-selected Compton High School students who will attend UC San Diego for summer session on scholarship grants.
Left to right: Dan Velazquez, Pedro Ramirez, Robin Wittman, and Lorenita Holloway
“We stressed that by working hard and pursuing their passions through education, they could do anything they wanted to do in life,” said Robin Wittman, who serves as program manager for UC San Diego Extension’s K-16 programs.
Wittman was joined by program rep Dan Velazquez.
“Not only did we share that we were both the first in our families to attend college," added Wittman, "but that we were both raised by single mothers.”
The students — Erik Camacho Varela, Francisco Lomeli, Pedro Ramirez, Maria Sanchez, Vediste Torreon, and Alicia Torres — will attend UC San Diego for a three-week residential program, July 6-26.
Wittman and Velazquez spent the entire day at the school, visiting seven science classrooms to talk about UC San Diego’s Academic Connections program, which provides grants to students in underserved areas.
The school visit was coordinated by Dr. Lorenita Holloway, chair of the Compton HS science department.
“There’s nothing more fulfilling to me than helping spread the word about Academic Connections,” said Wittman. “We have the opportunity to help these bright and promising students chart a positive life course by giving them the skills to thrive.”
Academic Connections is a K-16 program within UC San Diego Extension; Ed Abeyta serves as director.
Now in its 14th year, the program offers more than 25 summer courses on-campus at UC San Diego to a select group of 9th through 12th grade high-school students from throughout Southern California and the Imperial Valley who earn a GPA of 3.3 or higher.
Classes meet five hours a day, with a maximum of 22 students per class, to ensure quality interaction with instructors and instructional assistants. Academic Connections instructors are typically UC San Diego doctoral students who design and instruct the course.