Friday, January 16, 2009

Where I Volunteered this Past Semester

For the past five months, I have been volunteering every Tuesday night at the Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI) in Barrio Logan, which is a predominantly low-income Hispanic neighborhood in San Diego. This past Tuesday was my last night there, because I will be starting an internship this semester, so I wanted to write a post about the BLCI, because I greatly believe in what they do for children and youth.

The average family income in Barrio Logan is $19,000, and it has one of the lowest education rates in San Diego. All of the students who go to the BLCI will be first generation college graduates and 99% of them are Latino. Latinos are largely underrepresented in college campuses throughout the country. Among adult Latinos who are 25 years of age and older, only 10.9% are college graduates. The BLCI consists of after-school tutoring, classes to improve educational skills, extracurricular activities, assistance with applying to college and financial aid, and parent involvement. It also places these students in quality schools, such as highly ranked public or charter schools.

During my short time at the BLCI, I was able to meet some extremely promising youth who were very committed to going to college. They would tell me about other kids in their neighborhood who were involved with drugs or in gangs, but these students were dedicated to coming to the BLCI. Commitment for them meant some nights staying till 8:00 p.m., going to schools away from their neighborhood that were much more challenging academically, taking classes at the BLCI, and being tutored, all so they could have more opportunities than their parents did. It is a shame that there are not more programs like this throughout the country supported by government funding.

If you want to show your support to the Barrio Logan College Institute, sign up for their newsletter here: They raise all of their funds through private donations, so it attracts large donors if they have a lot of people on their newsletter list. It’s an easy way to support a good cause.

1 comment:

  1. this is something i would love to get involved with. share some more with me someday.