Give the Gift of Education

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Milenia Quintero

For 24 years, Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI) has worked with first-generation students in San Diego’s lowest performing schools to give them the knowledge and tools needed to enroll in, and graduate from, college. Youth enrolled at BLCI reflect the perseverance and progress of our City’s most underserved populations. They exemplify the power of determination and the potential to be found in our public schools. Nationwide, only 59% of first-generation students enroll in college. Students enrolled at BLCI have a 100% high school graduation rate, and 100% college enrollment rate.

BLCI youth are committed to improving conditions for themselves, their families, and their communities. They choose to focus on possibilities, not limitations. While they are aware of the challenges they face in pursuit of their dreams, they do not allow these challenges to define them. They recognize the intrinsic value in every human being; that each one of us is full of endless potential to transform the world in our own unique way. They are not afraid to cast an ambitious vision and work hard to achieve it.

Milenia Quintero, BLCI Class of 2018, embodied these values and was accepted as an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California. Today, Milenia is involved in the Kappa Delta Chi sorority (a Latina founded sorority based on unity, honesty, and leadership) Latinx Student Assembly, and Improving Dreams Education Access and Success (IDEAS). She is majoring in Sociology with a minor in Legal Studies. BLCI’s guidance and support through her college application journey made Milenia’s dream of attending USC possible, where she has continued to succeed and raise the bar for herself and her community.

This has been a year of disruptions, but in light of the challenges, we have been presented with the opportunity to reimagine our education system so that it emerges stronger than before COVID-19. As school buildings closed, teachers and parents relied on BLCI’s support services in ways that we had not seen before. BLCI staff became essential in limiting the learning loss expected for most students this school year. The importance of schools and communities working together to support children’s learning has never been more evident, and BLCI is committed to doing its part to make the most of this opportunity to transform public education – so we can look back on this year as one that opened the door to progress and lasting change.

Since 1996, Barrio Logan College Institute has received the support of people united by a shared belief in the promise of education. We are reminded of the necessary role that education plays in the well-being of our communities this holiday season and invite you to give the Gift of Education to support our transformative college readiness programs for first generation students. We invite you to visit our website, www.blci.org to make a donation today in support our mission, to break the cycle of poverty by preparing underserved students to be the first in their families to go to college, through after school programs that begin in third grade.

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Kamran Saeed
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