AAP, the largest university-based, student-diversity program in the nation, turns unlikely students into successful graduates and future leaders.
When Crenshaw High School student Elijah Ozuna was in the 10th grade, he hadn’t yet set his sights on a college education. “I didn’t even know that I wanted to go to college,” says Ozuna, now a junior majoring in mathematics and economics at UCLA. “I was just getting through high school and ready to become an adult.”
That changed when he learned of his school’s partnership with UCLA’s Vice Provost Initiative for Pre-College Scholars (VIPS) program, which prepares students from 10 of the lowest-performing high schools in Los Angeles and Pasadena to become competitively eligible for admission to the nation’s top postsecondary institutions.
“VIPS showed me I could do anything I want, and that university can help you determine what you want to do in life,” he says. “Other people are motivated by making fast cash on the streets. I am motivated by making good money through a good job, and you need a good education to do that.”
Ozuna now aspires to a career in finance.
The VIPS program, a key effort created by UCLA’s Academic Advancement Program to recruit a more diverse student body at UCLA, offers mentoring, SAT and ACT prep courses, enrichment programs, summer residential programs, access to scholarships and other resources to qualified students. VIPS creates an educational pipeline from high school all the way through graduate and professional schools for students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Of the program’s 250 core participants, 97 percent have gone on to flagship four-year colleges, and about half come to UCLA. The scholars are also encouraged to become active participants in campus life, with more than a quarter of them engaging in student government, undergraduate research, performing arts groups, campus newspapers, and other clubs and organizations. Moreover, they add to the socioeconomic and cultural diversity of the campus and bring fresh perspectives into the classroom.
All of which makes a gift to AAP a powerful investment in human potential.
Students at the AAP Celebration of Excellence.
AAP students with Professor Darnell Hunt.
India Carney '15 with Dean and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Patricia A. Turner.
AAP High Aims students at the annual white coat ceremony.
HIGH AIMS provides support to students interested in attending health profession schools.
Parents and students share excitement on Freshman/Transfer Summer Program Move-In Day.
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