See stories and progress from The CENTENNIAL Campaign for
An insurance policy for the people, places and programs that need it most, allowing UCLA to act quickly, retain faculty and seize opportunities.
First-generation college student Rosie Mejia ’20 was attending UCLA full time, commuting to campus from South Central L.A., and working at a fast-food restaurant when something life-changing happened. La’Tonya Rease-Miles, who directs UCLA First Year Experience, walked into the restaurant decked out in UCLA attire during Mejia’s shift. The two struck up a conversation, and that chance encounter introduced Mejia to UCLA First to Go, a program that provides support for Bruins, like Mejia, who are the first in their families to go to college.
Rease-Miles connected Mejia with various First to Go resources, helping her get an academic advisor, an affordable apartment near campus, a job on campus, and an introduction to the Academic Advancement Program (AAP); Mejia, who is studying psychology and Spanish linguistics, now participates in an AAP research forum. These are some of the ways First to Go, one of many UCLA programs supported by the Chancellor’s Greatest Needs fund, is helping Mejia fully experience university life and excel on and off campus.
“First to Go members took me in, took me around, and showed me what it’s like to really be a part of the UCLA community,” says Mejia.
The Chancellor’s Greatest Needs fund serves as an insurance policy for people, places, and programs at UCLA that need it most. It allows the university to act quickly to develop new programs and curriculum, retain faculty and students, and help them thrive. From Freshman Clusters—a series of courses organized around timely societal topics—to the Volunteer Center—a catalyst for civic engagement—the fund helps Bruins go above and beyond in learning and service.
For every program the Chancellor’s Greatest Needs fund supports, you can find someone with an inspiring story demonstrating how meaningful that program is in his or her UCLA experience. Your support will help write the next one.
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