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EOP Alumni Success Stories

Curtis Howard
Class of 2004 --- Major: Government

Curtis HowardEOP gave me the opportunity to attend Sacramento State after I completed high school. The service I appreciated the most from EOP was the guidance the counselor gave me in helping me select courses to meet General Education and college graduation requirements. As an undergraduate student I was not sure what I wanted to do in term of a career. With the help an EOP Counselor I was able to narrow my major down to Government. I graduated from California State University, Sacramento in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government.

After graduating from Sacramento State I decided to continue my education and applied for law school. I was accepted into JFK School of Law located in Pleasant Hill, CA where I received my law degree. My achievements after graduating from law school included passing the California State BAR exam, working the State Legislature, and practicing law with various California County Public Defender Officers. My biggest achievement thus far was arguing and winning a case in San Francisco Superior Court



Chao Vang
Class of 2009 --- Asian American Studies

Being in EOP allowed me to begin at an early stage with Summer Bridge which had an impact on me staying and finishing college within 4 years. Moreover, the Learning Community allowed me to meet friends and have support from them which is a huge factor to myself and many friends staying in college. The services and counseling provided by EOP was much needed especially when students like myself have no role model being a first generation to attend college.

Following my BA at Sacramento State I have earned my Single Subject credential and did my student teaching at Hiram Johnson. I also taught summer school at Sacramento High School. Currently I am getting my MA from the Teacher Education department. I am currently an instructional assistant providing therapy to kids diagnosed with Autism.



Elda Ayala
Class of 2010 --- Major: Social Work

Elda AyalaBeing in EOP help me assimilate to college life and classes. Having EOP as freshmen helped me tremendously with my classes and learning how to develop study habits. I developed a great relationship with me fellow class mates that were in my EOP group. My EOP group was like a little family that helped each other with assignment and helped with material that we did not understand. Now that most of us have moved on I consider those EOP members close friends and I still keep in touch with most of my EOP members in my group.

As soon as I graduated from my undergrad I decided that I wanted to get my master so I applied immediately. I am currently attending the Sacramento State University and I am doing my Master in Social Work. I should be graduating May 2012. As soon as I graduate I plan to find a job in the area of Child Protective Services. While working for CPS I plan to be working to get my license to become a Clinical Social Worker.



Eric Guerra
Class of 2003 --- Major: Electrical and Electronic Engineering,
Master of Public Policy and Public Administration

Eric Guerra graduated from Sacramento State in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. As an EOP student, Eric received guidance from EOP Counselor, Al Stripland. EOP made an impact on Eric's undergraduate career through providing academic guidance and helping him understand the process and protocol of the university. After graduating with his Bachelor of Science degree, Eric was accepted to the CSUS Center for California Studies Senate Fellowship and was appointed by Governor Gray Davis as a trustee for the California State University Board of Trustees. Eric returned to Sacramento State and received his Masters of Public Policy and Public Administration in 2008.

Eric has a strong passion for community involvement and improving his community. Eric firmly believes that every policy must be clearly vetted to identify the optimal results that will better all communities in the County of Sacramento. The economic future of our region is dependent on thoughtful planning and effective leadership. Some of his greatest accomplishments after leaving Sacramento State were becoming Sacramento County Planning Commissioner, serving as Capitol Director for Assembly member Warren Furutani, serving as Senior Legislative Consultant for Senator Gilbert Cedillo, Trustee for the California State University, and a member on Sacramento State Alumni Board of Directors. In his role as Capitol Director, Eric focuses on state issues of higher education, workforce development, and transportation policy. During his academic career at Sacramento State Eric also served as ASI President, a UEI board member, and University Union board member.



George G. Mitchell
Class: 2000/2002 --- Major: Social Work

george mitchellGeorge Mitchell graduated from Sacramento State in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work. George grew up in a low-income family and was the first in his family to attend college. During his first year in college George was faced with many challenges and thought about dropping out of college if it was not for the help he received in EOP. During his toughest time at Sacramento State, George sought the help of EOP and met with his EOP Counselor, Al Striplen. With the academic counseling and advising he received from Al Striplen, George was able to over his challenges and be the first in his family to graduate from college. George stated that “I would have never made it without the help and support from EOP.

After receiving his Bachelor degree, George went on a new endeavor with his educational career and received his Master of Social Work from Sacramento State in 2002. Following graduation George went to work with El Dorado County Adult Protective Services immediately. After two years, George went to work at a residential program for juvenile sex offenders. Currently George is employed at New Folsom Prison as a Clinical Social Worker.

On May 4th, 2011 George was invited back to Sacramento State to be the honorary keynote speaker for EOP 2011 Celebrating Student Success event. George spoke to over twenty EOP students who graduated in the Fall of 2010 or were graduating Spring/Summer 2011. George shared his powerful experience being a EOP student and what he had learned from EOP. He also offered a few words of wisdom for EOP graduates as they continue on a new endeavor.



Isaura Garcia
Class: 2009 --- Major: Communication Studies

Isaura GarciaEOP had a huge impact on my undergraduate career. During the summer of 2005, I participated with Summer Bridge. I did my best in our English and Math assessments. I was placed in only one remedial class for English, and I was able to take an elective, Ethnic Studies. I was also able to take college level courses during my freshman year of college. My freshman seminar course and my government class also impacted my performance in college. It felt great to have peers that I could talk to, and I made new friends in my classes. EOP and CAMP were two programs that guided me by helping me choose the right A-G requirements. Moreover, my counselor, Leticia Perez is a person I really admire. I continue to keep in touch with her via email. She was the person, who emailed me about a program that changed my life. I applied for an internship position with CAMP Adventure. This organization gave me the opportunity to travel to Europe, gain work experience and gain units for school. I worked at Child and Youth services with military families at Baumholder, Germany. I will never forget this experience, and I truly value all the opportunities that EOP has inspired me to take.

I am currently in the Bilingual Multicultural Education Program for my multiple-subject credential at Sacramento State University. After working as a tutor with the Mini-Corp Program, I decided to take pre-requisites for teaching, and I decided to apply for the credential program. Sacramento State was the right school for my credential program because the staff is supportive. I also had the CAMP Adventure experience in Germany that completely motivated me to finish the credential program. I am currently student teaching at the Language Academy in Sacramento, and I believe in the benefits of multicultural and bilingual education.

Teaching is a challenge, but it is also very rewarding. I have had the opportunity to participate in a summer teaching program at Guatemala. I have travelled to a total of 11 countries. I have participated with the NASA Pre-Service Teaching Institute to promote STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, fields for students. I was working with the HEP High School equivalency program at Sacramento State. I was also an intern for SMHA Sacramento Mutual Housing Association, teaching financial education for their residents.



Jamie Her
Class: 2006 --- Major: Business Finance

Jamie graduate from Sacramento State in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Finance. During her time at Sacramento State as an EOP student, Jamie took advantage of EOP Career Exploration services and with the help of EOP counselors guiding her through choosing a major. Jamie was very fortunate to go into her career field right after graduation and worked for the State of California. After a couple of years of working, Jamie was promoted to a Senior Tax Auditor. Jamie stated that being an auditor is not an easy job because of the work load that needs to be completed timely. However, her experience being an EOP student taught her how to manage her time to meet deadlines which helped her transition into her career.



Javier Gonzalez-Rocha
Class: 2010 --- Major: Mechanical Engineering

Participating in EOP was crucial to my success. Summer Bridge Program and EOP Staff provided me with a fostering environment and the resources necessary to achieve higher levels of personal and academic achievements from the onset of my college career. I am currently enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering M.S. program at Sacramento State. My program emphasis consists of design and dynamic systems.

Since graduating I have continued to pursue the academic track. I am now working towards obtaining a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. This has provided me with the opportunity to specialize in the area of design and dynamic systems and establish myself among the technical community. Just recently, I collaborated with Mechanical Engineering Professor Ilhan Tuzcu to address the flight stability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Our work was published in the SAE Aerotech Conference Proceedings which was held in Toulouse France.



Jolaine Hoang
Class: 2009 --- Major: Liberal Studies

The EOP learning community has brought positive experiences during the first couple semesters of my undergraduate years. As an undergraduate college student, I was able to pursue the Liberal Studies Program. I decided to be a teacher; therefore, I applied for the Multiple Subjects Credential Program. After few semesters working with the low-income community and the public schools, I have learned a lot as a person. I have learned to strive harder in life. I really missed the experiences as a participant for EOP Summer Bridge Program.



Jesus Andrade
Class: 2002 --- Major: Philosophy Minor: Business Administration

Jesus AndradeI graduated from Sacramento State in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy with a concentration on applied ethics and law and a minor in Business Administration. Being an EOP student gave me the opportunity to make friends (some which have continued till this day) and provided a very welcoming environment, which is crucial for first time university students like myself to transition into college. While at Sacramento State I became ASI President during my last year.

After graduation I was accepted into the Jesse Marvin Unruh Assembly Fellowship Program and became a Capitol Fellow. Following the completion of the fellowship program I worked as a Field Organizer for the Colorado Campaign for Change during President Obama’s Presidential campaign. Now I live in Los Angeles, CA and work for the National Council for La Raza (NCLR) as a Education Policy Field and Campaign Organizer. My expertise is in grassroots community organizing and electoral organizing. In my current position I work on building a strong network of advocates; working on improving education for Latinos; national campaigns relating to immigration reform, health care reform, naturalization, voter engagement and registration.



Kenisha Hurd
Class of 2008 --- Major: Ethnic Studies

Kensisha Hurd graduated from Sacramento State in the Spring of 2008 receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ethnic Studies. While at Sacramento State, her EOP counselor was Jerry Blake and this is Kensiha success story:

Being an EOP student helped introduced me to my field of study during my undergraduate career while I was attending Sacramento State. I was first introduced to Ethnic Studies when I took Ethnic Studies 11 as an EOP requirement. My secondary education did not prepare me to understand the many walks of life that we encounter on a daily basis. Understanding and appreciating diversity should be key any in career field of choice. After I receive my MSW, I will start a non-profit organization. The goal of the non-profit will be to serve a population that has been underserved for years; African American male foster youth. Had I not been introduced to Ethnic Studies as a requirement in the EOP program, my career goals may have been completely different. My next step in life is to further my education and pursue a Master degree in Social Work. I will be attending CSUS in the Fall of 2011 for the Master of Social Work program. After I graduated with my Bachelor degree, I worked in the social services field to gain hands-on experience. The experience has reinforced my desire to serve the underserved.

As an undergraduate student, I volunteered and completed an internship at the Greater Sacramento Urban League. Three months after I graduated, I received an employment opportunity at GSUL as the youth programs Case Manager. I oversee recruitments, enrollments, and client retention in the GED program and the youth Empowerment Academy program.



Marlon Cuellar
Class of 2005 --- Major: Government

marlon cuellarI graduated from Sacramento State in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government. While I was a student EOP was an important resource for me to not only gain admission into CSUS, but also provided me with the support and learning opportunities to be a successful. I had some very difficult times when I was a student and recall visiting my counselor who motivated me and wrote me a note with the words "eyes on the prize". Today that note sits framed in my bedroom and I see it every day I wake up.

Since graduating I have continued combining my interest in government and health policy working for various health organizations. I am now a Program Manager for the Health Systems with The California Endowment, the largest health foundation in the state. Prior to joining The Endowment, I was a legislative assistant for Assembly Member Mary Salas (D-79) for which I served as the lead staffer on health policy matters before the Assembly Health Committee. I also served as a legislative assistant for the Government Relations arm of the California Medical Association where he worked on a number of grassroots advocacy campaigns.

My earlier work includes a stint as a legislative intern in the House of Representatives for Congressman Howard Berman (D-28) for which I conducted legislative research among other activities. As a student I also served as the director for Associated Students Inc. at California State University, Sacramento’s Office of Governmental Affairs during which I lobbied and advocated for students at the local, state and federal levels of government.



Rigoberto Catalan
Class of 2006 --- Major: Organizational Communication

Being part of EOP; guided myself in the right direction. When we had a question and did not know where to turn EOP always help us with the answer or where to go get answer. With the help of EOP I was able to graduate with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communication in 2006. Soon after completing my undergraduate degree I continue my path in Real Estate. I stayed in Sacramento for about 6 months after graduation before I migrated to Southern California. After arriving in Los Angeles I continue my path in Real Estate loans. Currently I am the owner and President of C.R.E.I. GROUP which specialize in real estate finance, management and investment.



Santasia Foster
Class of 2010 --- Major: Communication

Santasia FosterI graduated from Sacramento State in the Fall of 2010 receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies. While at Sacramento State, my EOP counselor was Jerry Blake. EOP has impacted my undergraduate career at Sacramento State through the Learning Skills Community. I can recall when I first entered Sacramento State and found out that I had received a low score in both of the Math (ELM) and English (EPT) entrance exam and needed to take the Learning Skills courses in Math and English. For this reason my participation with EOP grew and by giving students, like myself a second chance at education has not only helped me academically but personally. I believe that without the help of programs like EOP, I don’t know how I would stand in school or even if I would be in school. I feel that this is a center that I have not only created a professional relationship with my EOP advisors but a family that grew help developed a young girl to a woman! Thank you!!!

At Sacramento State I have accomplished my parent’s goals to graduate from college. I have accomplished a skill that I can say I have committed to and completed. I have not figured out what my dream occupation will be yet but I know now is the time where I will be able to step into the real world and explore life in a new light then when I came into Sacramento State. I plan to take a year off before I will attend graduate school. I haven’t decided where I will attend yet but it sure is something I will look into in the future.