UC leaders urge high school students throughout state to aim high
The University of California wants you: That is the message thousands of high school students will hear in the coming weeks as chancellors and senior leaders from all 10 campuses visit schools in low-income communities around the state.
The event, called Achieve UC, will reach more than 10,000 students in schools with lower than average college-going rates. The aim: Inspire young people to see themselves as college material — and back it up with practical support to help them realize those ambitions.
Last week, newly appointed UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks spoke to 150 juniors and seniors at an Achieve UC rally at Richmond High School.
“This is something special for us,” said Julio Franco, principal of Richmond High School. “When somebody takes the time out of their busy schedule to come here, that says a lot. It says the university is interested in them.”
Richmond High serves large numbers of students from low-income families, and many are English language learners. Despite those challenges, the school has seen a significant increase in recent years in the percentage of students who are eligible for college when they graduate. Today, 21 percent of seniors and 45 percent of freshmen are on track for college, up from 7 percent of seniors and 29 percent of freshmen in 2005.