Twins Jonathan and Abraham’s journey getting into college is a picture of what we at NHH believe is required for most first-generation college students. Their hard-working parents, Francisco and Elizabeth, neither proficient in English or even high school graduates, knew early on their sons would need more help than they could offer in order to complete the daunting task of college applications.
In Jonathan’s words, “they wanted us to thrive, to have choices and to have the careers we are passionate about.” Despite all of the things Francisco and Elizabeth were unfamiliar with like FAFSA forms and placement tests, they did instill a tremendous work ethic in their sons so that going into their senior year, both had excellent grades. Many parents would count that as no small feat. They quickly recognized that the committed staff of Azusa High School did not have the capacity to accommodate a senior class of over three-hundred students with the individualized attention most would need to manage the college admissions process.
Right away, the family came to Homework House where the boys participated in our Saturday “Breakfast Club,” program designed to help High School Seniors navigate the college admissions process and to prepare students and families for the transition to college. Our teen program coordinator, Rosy Razo, tirelessly walked them through all of the steps; meeting countless times with the boys’ parents being a crucial bi-lingual bridge in completing the often very complicated forms necessary for students to first get into college and ultimately to seek financial aid.
As Abraham reflects on the upcoming departure to college he, “believes (he) is ready. NHH has taught me well enough to know what is coming. It is a different lifestyle, a different schedule, but if you are to thrive, you have to keep a steady head, the confidence, and to seek out resources when needed. Don’t be prideful. Just thrive!” We are happy to report Jonathan will be attending California State University, Monterey Bay while Abraham will be studying at Humboldt State University this fall. We believe this milestone, along with their eventual college graduation, will re-write their family’s future opening up unimaginable possibilities for them!
Jonathan recently said about his parent's role in this next chapter of he and his brother’s lives, “I want them to know that I spend every day proud to be called their son and that every day I am in college, I am doing it for them. And I am doing it for myself. I am giving them the greatest award, that I will thrive and make a living for ourselves. And make them proud of us.”