On March 4, several of our Breakthrough students, families, and staff attended M.E.Ch.A de UCI’s 37th annual youth empowerment conference. The conference focused on college readiness and provided workshops relating to issues affecting our students’ communities. Some of the workshops our students attended were about A-G requirements, the importance of financial aid, and resources for scholarships and grants.

We asked Breakthrough sophomore Katie Muniz which workshop was most impactful for her. Katie replied, “My favorite workshop was about self-care for students of color. We learned about different ways to take care of ourselves and relieve stress. For example, we could try gardening.” Each student was able to plant their own succulent and take it home. They absolutely enjoyed the amount of engagement and information provided by these workshops.

Overall, the conference was meaningful for our students and families. Assistant director Alex Serna stated, “The trip was impactful because students and parents were able to listen to UCI students share their challenges and successes applying to and being a college student. In the end, our families left more informed and confident about their future college aspirations”

Breakthrough has the opportunity to attend a similar youth conference at UCLA in May. Transportation from St. Margaret’s and lunch will be provided. For more information, contact Alex at alex.serna@smes.org or 949-661-0108 ext. 1322.


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