Jessi Fernandez and Leah Pinedo are two students at Pasadena City College who exemplify strength and resilience. Both young adults have been gang involved and previously incarcerated. They have fought to break out of the cycle of systemic violence and oppression.
In their past semesters, Jessi and Leah have been recognized by their professors as outstanding and hardworking students. Through their college experience, they have fallen in love with education and have gained a deeper understanding of the power that it unlocks individually and societally. Recently, Jessi and Leah were accepted into PCC’s study abroad program to Oxford, England—an opportunity they say they, “never would have imagined.” They are now raising money to make this dream of studying in Oxford a reality.
Latino students are underrepresented in study abroad programs. According to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors data from 2010-2011, 78% of students who studied abroad were white, and 6.9% of the students who studied abroad were Latino.
To learn more about Jessi and Leah, watch this video.
If you want to contribute to Jessi and Leah’s effort, click here to their GoFundMe page.
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