Education Today vs. Prisons Tomorrow
Studies show that if a child gets behind in school at age 8, it’s virtually impossible to ever catch up. Knowing this, Barrio Logan College Institute developed after-school programs for children that start at third grade and continue all the way through college graduation. Much of BLCI’s success can be traced to their CEO, Jose Cruz who is a role model and mentor for these at-risk students.
Jose was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. In 1983 his mother left everything behind to move to San Diego in search of medical services for Jose’s brother, Gabriel, who was born with brain damage and cerebral palsy. Jose grew up in a single parent home in City Heights. He was the first in his immediate family to go to college. While in college he wondered why none of his close friends from the neighborhood enrolled in college with him. Some of them dropped out of high school. He conducted research on Latino identification with high academic achievement while at SDSU and went on to Harvard to study community-based prevention programs for at-risk students. Jose joined BLCI December of 2009.
10 Things About Jose Cruz & Barrio Logan College Institute
#1 My first job was a Cutco Knife salesman.
#2 My favorite book is “Guerra Contra Todos Los Puertoriquenos” by Nelson Denis.
#3 My celebrity crush is Jennifer Lopez.
#4 I love dogs, but I don’t have time for them. We have two cats and I love them too!
#5 Something that a lot of people don’t know about me is that I love to dance!
#6 I would love to have lunch with Bill Gates to see what his ideas are about preparing underserved youth for the future workforce.
#7 Keeping up with email is one of my challenges at BLCI because I’m in meetings and events throughout the city most of the day.
#8 One of the best parts of being CEO at BLCI is feeling incredibly supported by the board, donors, partners, staff, students and parents. I am proud of my students at BLCI going to college and taking on new leadership roles in the community.
#9 I love when our supporters get a chance to see first-hand how their contributions change lives at BLCI’s “Opportunity for Impact” Fundraiser. Our students present how BLCI has changed their lives, their family and their community.
#10 People can help BLCI by:
-Championing our work to others.
-Invite people for a tour of our campus.
-Invest in our programs with time or money.
If you would like to nominate someone for a “Feel Good Friday” feature, please email Lori Walton at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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