Invest + Believe by Fernando Carrillo

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Maybe when you were growing up, everyone around you went to college. Parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors. Perhaps you learned about college in soft ways like stories told at Thanksgiving or attending a parent's alma mater football game, and in tangible ways, like being able to turn to any number of college grads in your life for help with the application process.

That wasn’t the case for me.

My parents were not able to finish high school. Both worked multiple, part-time jobs and dedicated themselves to doing the best they could for my siblings and me. But when it came to conversations about college, there wasn’t much support they could offer beyond encouragement.

I had the desire, the drive, and the grades to go to college. And, fortunately, I had Project GRAD Los Angeles.

Maybe when you were growing up, everyone around you went to college. Parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors. Perhaps you learned about college in soft ways like stories told at Thanksgiving or attending a parent's alma mater football game, and in tangible ways, like being able to turn to any number of college grads in your life for help with the application process.

That wasn’t the case for me.

My parents were not able to finish high school. Both worked multiple, part-time jobs and dedicated themselves to doing the best they could for my siblings and me. But when it came to conversations about college, there wasn’t much support they could offer beyond encouragement.

I had the desire, the drive, and the grades to go to college. And, fortunately, I had Project GRAD Los Angeles.

Project GRAD made all the difference by supporting me in those soft ways, like the countless hours Yasmin spent coaching and advising me throughout high school, and in concrete ways, like the transformative experience of living on a college campus and taking a college-level course as a high school student.

Plain and simple, I needed Project GRAD. And so do hundreds of other students who also have the desire, the drive, and the grades to go to college.

Today, I am a college graduate (UC Santa Cruz, class of 2014) working as a Software Engineer. And because Project GRAD believed in and invested in me, I am also a donor. It’s important to me that young people in the community where I grew up get the support and skills needed to succeed in college, and in life.

I am asking you to please join me in believing in and investing in the hundreds of students Project GRAD is helping right now. Make a true difference and contribute today.

Thank you!

Fernando Carrillo

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