Meet the Newest Member of the Team!

Devon Hernandez

College & Alumni Coordinator

"I understand the importance of promoting equity"


 "I am the College & Alumni Coordinator, serving as both a college level counselor and coordinator of college scholar and alumni services at Project GRAD Los Angeles. I am a recent Master of Social Work graduate from the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) at the University of Pennsylvania, and also hold a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Cal State Fullerton. Born and raised in the Northeast Valley, I understand the importance of promoting education equity, as it can drastically change the trajectory of one's life. Some of my interests include photography, weightlifting, and creating new experiences through travel."

Say hello to Devon here:

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From Pacoima to Cornell University

College Scholar Mayra Valdez is writing about her experiences as a first generation student at Cornell. Check it out!

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Program Numbers in Pictures

A visual snapshot of how we're doing at this point in the 2015-2016 school year. 

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Ensuring Success Along the College Journey

It was a day of interactive learning and heart-to-heart sharing for the 500-plus students and parents who came out to Project GRAD's 2016 Annual Family Conference. 

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#FAFSAFest 2016!

The college journey charges forward for the 300 seniors and their parents who attended FAFSA workshops this weekend at San Fernando High School. 

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Meet the Newest Member of the Team

Garrett Arii
College Success Advisor

"One big reason why I love what I do is having the opportunity to guide students in a direction that they never thought was possible." 


Hi, my name is Garrett, and I have recently graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelors of Arts in Biology and a minor in Family Studies. I started working with Project GRAD Los Angeles back in 2011 as a tutor, and eventually worked my way to an Advisor position. As much as I love my job, I do love using my free time to try new food places, travel, go to the beach, and visit my favorite place in the world, Disneyland. One big reason why I love what I do is having the opportunity to guide students in a direction that they never thought was possible. The kids drive me everyday to be prepared and to do my job to the best of my ability and make the biggest impact that I can possibly make.

Say hello to Garrett at:

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SAVE THE DATE! 2016 Family Summit

Project GRAD Los Angeles Presents:

2016 Family Conference
Ensuring a Successful College Journey

Getting into college is only half the battle, the true test is finishing with a degree. Join us for this day-long conference designed to help the entire family navigate the path to college success! 

Through panel discussions and interactions sessions, students and parents together will learn invaluable tools, skills and knowledge for ensuring a successful college journey.

Attendees will leave the conference with a better understanding of: college preparation, strategies for student success, and how parents can support their child’s college aspiration.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

9am – 3pm

Los Angeles Mission College

* Breakfast and Lunch Provided

For more information and to register please visit:

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Farewell to 2015!


Project GRAD Student Leaders -- 10th and 11th graders serving as college readiness ambassadors on their campuses -- closed out the year with a great big Holiday Pizza Party.

From all of us here at Project GRAD Los Angeles --

May your Holidays be filled with love, joy, and gratitude! 


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In the spirit of gratitude, reflection, and honoring the simple "riches" in life on this #GIVINGTUESDAY, I want to share an email Scholar Erik Rodriguez sent to his former Advisor Eliana Mendoza (both pictured above). Erik is now a Junior at MIT.

Hi Eli,

I just wanted to say thank you so much for all that you've done for me in the past few years. I really would not be where I am today if it wasn't for your mentorship and guidance.

I am a big fan of Project GRAD and everything it stands for. Since I am away for such long periods of time, I find that it is harder for me to give back to the program. I was wondering if there was any way I could help the program from here? I'd love to help guide younger college students and even high school students preparing for the college application/going process. This was something I was really into when I graduated and I feel that I have somewhat lost sight of that. I recently received a message from Gamal Attiah (my mentee from Project GRAD's Peer Leadership) and it reminded me of why I became a mentor and why I want to give back to Project GRAD. I received tons of help from you all and I would love to do anything I can to help students that are in the position I was a few years ago.

Hope all is well! Also, congratulations on getting engaged!

Erik Rodriguez

Since receiving this email, a private Facebook group has been set up where Erik answers questions and gives advice to younger Project GRAD Scholars. This past month, he advised several seniors on their applications while maintaining his own Engineering course load at MIT.

We have all been enriched from the support and help that someone gave us at some point in our lives. On this #GIVINGTUESDAY, we want to continue the cycle of GRATITUDE by saying THANK YOU to you, our supporters.

Our work to accelerate educational equity for students like Erik is only possible because of you. 

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The Homestretch

With less than a week until the deadline, Project GRAD Advisors and Volunteers are giving a final push of help to seniors completing college applications!


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