Campus: Los Angeles -- February 13, 2007

Cal-SOAP Scholarships Get Big Boost - to $220K

Program tutors 2,500 area students to expand higher-ed 'pipeline'

A program that last year tutored more than 2,500 students at area middle schools and high schools-Cal State L.A.'s California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP)-recently received $220,500 from The Education Financing Foundation of California (TEEAC) to increase its university scholarship program.

One of nine Cal-SOAP efforts in the state, the Cal State L.A.-based program serves Los Angeles-area schools. In 2006, the program received $110,000 from TEFFC to provide scholarships to help 105 former Cal-SOAP participants-now high school graduates-enroll at various colleges and universities.

Ten of the scholarship recipients are attending Cal State L.A.

On Saturday, Feb. 10, the Cal-SOAP program at Cal State L.A. will team with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce's UNITE-LA and others to present a "Cash for College" financial aid workshop at Woodrow Wilson High School in Los Angeles, one of several to be held in the region.

The Los Angeles-area Cal-SOAP effort was established in 1997 with funding from the California Student Aid Commission. Spearheaded by David J. Godoy, Cal State L.A. 's assistant vice president of student affairs, the initial grant created the Los Angeles Education Consortium, which now includes roughly 45 educators, community non-profit directors, and volunteers.

In its efforts to provide pre-college academic support and mentorship to youth, the early effort limited its focus to the state's 49th Assembly District, which includes Alhambra, El Monte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, and South El Monte.

According to Beatriz Encinas, a 25-year veteran of student-support efforts at Cal State L.A., "What began in one district has blossomed into what now entails 23 cities and seven unincorporated regions of Los Angeles County. This program has touched the lives of more than 50,000 students. With 85 percent of its participants graduating high school, and with 90 percent of those graduates enrolling in college, it continues to be a tremendous source of pride and accomplishment."

TEFFC was created in 2005 from the conversion of Chela Education Financing, a non-profit student loan company.

Sean Kearns, media relations director,
Margie Yu, public affairs specialist,

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