EOP Student Achieves Dream of College EducationChristina Galindo of Pico Rivera was encouraged to work hard and get a college education as a child, but when she reached high school, as the child of a single parent, she began to think that attending a university was beyond her reach.
But thanks to three special programs, including the Educational Opportunity Program — a statewide program to assist students with limited financial resources — she will be taking part in Cal State Fullerton’s 45th annual commencement exercises on Saturday, May 29.
“My college years were definitely the best years of my life,” says the high-achieving scholar, who is earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration and has accepted an accounting position that begins in the fall.
“I had been planning to go to a community college because my family didn’t have a car, and it was close to home,” says Galindo, remembering the path she traveled that helped her achieve her dream of a college education. It was while attending high school that she learned of the California Student Opportunity and Access Program, a program that encourages students to consider college and also offers mentors who guide students through the steps to gain admittance to a university.
“My mentor pushed me to apply to three California State University campuses. I followed her instructions and applied to Long Beach, Los Angeles and Fullerton. I was accepted by all of them but chose Fullerton because friends’ siblings recommended it as a good school.”
The summer before attending Cal State Fullerton, Galindo took part in the Career Preparation and Opportunities Program sponsored by the city of Pico Rivera. “It is specifically for high school graduates who have been accepted to college. It offers workshops on how to prepare for college, get financial aid, how to avoid temptations,” says Galindo, adding that students in the program worked on city beautification projects and in various city offices, earning money to aid them through their first year of college. She has continued her involvement in the program and is now the one who shares her college experiences.
But without EOP, the transition might have been much different, notes Galindo. In addition to financial support, the program offered tutoring and academic counseling with a mentor.
“My mentor, a graduate student, encouraged me to take what I thought would be a tough major and was always very supportive of my efforts. ”
Galindo, with a 3.68 GPA, has made the Dean’s List every semester while at Cal State Fullerton and has worked on campus since 2001. She is a member of the campus Accounting Society and Beta Alpha Psi, a national scholastic and professional fraternity for financial information students and professionals. This semester she served as chair for the campus chapter’s “Meet the Firms” job fair.
“Being a part of these organizations, taking part in their activities, gave me a good foundation on what to expect and how to succeed,” says Galindo. “When I entered college, I thought that it was all about academics, but getting to know my fellow students, my teachers and professionals in the field was a great experience. It was really helpful in getting that first job out of college.”
“In my 30 years of teaching, [Christina] definitely ranks in the top 10 of all my students,” says Robert McCabe, professor of accounting. “Amazingly, Christina is quite modest about her accomplishments. With time, she may realize what a jewel she has become.”
Contact: Pamela McLaren, (714) 278-4852, firstname.lastname@example.org
| Public Affairs Offices/Campus News
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