Change Starts Here.

Azareel Canizales is 15 years old and the oldest of four siblings, two of which also attend Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI), and he sets a great example for them. Although Azareel will be the first in his family to go to college, and his family does not have much, he always finds ways to give back to his community. In fact, he is the most involved student they have in the high school program at BLCI. Azareel volunteers often at his church and BLCI where he not only attends his weekly workshops, fieldtrips and tutoring requirements, he is also a Committee Member for the Executive Director’s Leadership Council where he helps design and implement projects to benefit his community, particularly in raising awareness about the importance of higher education as a ticket out of poverty.

BLCI believes that all children should have access to higher education, not limited by culture or status, resulting in thriving communities and a better world. They prepare underserved students to be the first in their families to go to college through afterschool programs that begin in third grade with the expectation that they contribute in some way to the betterment of their communities.

Azareel is helping to change his community by promoting a higher education in his neighborhood and inspiring youth to address some of these challenges. Currently, Azareel is the chairman of a committee that organized a youth conference this summer for Barrio Logan to inspire residents to attain higher levels of education and promoting civic engagement. On top of all these activities, Azareel is a high-achieving, full-time high school student attending La Jolla High School. He has helped put together a summer camp for local middle school students who could not access services at BLCI in order to inspire them to go to college.

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