Finding the Right Institution – College Panel – Passport to Success

Passport to Success – College and Career Edition 

Finding the Right Institution – College Panel

As part of Families In Schools’ Passport to Success – College and Career Edition, we will be providing a series of virtual college and career sessions between July 13 – September 4, 2020. Attend 8 approved virtual events or sessions on college and career preparation and complete your workbook in order to be eligible for a $1,000 scholarship!

The purpose of this panel is for high school students to learn about the similarities and differences of the admissions process when applying to a trade/tech school, public university, or private institution. Students should get an understanding of what to look for when exploring options and will have the opportunity to hear from college representatives and current students about necessary next steps to applying to their institution of choice. Families and mentors attending this panel should understand how they can best support their student’s goals.

This second virtual college panel will take place on Thursday, August 13th from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM, streamed live via Facebook. Join our panel of diverse professionals and students for an engaging and informative conversation!

About the Panelists

Darlene Zarazu is a second-year student in the Master of Education in Educational Counseling program at the University of Southern California. She currently serves as a Student Success Coach at Cal-SOAP LA and as a graduate assistant to the Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion at the Rossier School of Education. Her passion has always lied in achieving educational equity and opportunity and access for marginalized groups. Darlene is also the president of the Students of Higher Education Counseling Executive Board for the 2020 – 2021 academic year. Darlene is an alumna of the LACCD colleges where she received three Associate of Arts degrees and then transferred to Loyola Marymount University on a full-ride and received two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Sociology and International Relations. With her current role as a graduate assistant at USC, she has secured a fellowship that pays for her Master’s degree where she also receives a monthly stipend until she completes her degree next year.

Nasario Vasquez, Jr. is currently a graduate student at California State University, Los Angeles, pursuing a master’s in Latin American Studies. He is a Program Coordinator for a TRIO-Talent Search project at California State University, Dominguez Hills serving middle & high school students. As part of this project, students learn about the ins and outs of the college admissions process, and support is given to students’ families in attaining an understanding of the importance of creating a college-going culture at home. Nasario has two kids of his own and works in the communities of South Central Los Angeles, Watts, and the South Bay.

Dr. Eliza Hoyos Vences, or Dr. E as many call her, was born in Morelos Mexico, and grew up in Compton, CA. She attended UCSD, where she received her BA in International Studies and Spanish Literature. After working for a few years with an LA nonprofit organization, she realized her passion was in providing academic counseling to students who were very much like her, first-gen, low-income, immigrants with the goal of obtaining a better life. She continued her studies at Loyola Marymount University, where she received her MA in Counseling and most recently received her doctorate in educational leadership from CSULB. She believes education is one tool students can use to achieve their goals and help their family and community as a whole move forward.

Jaime Carias is a leading urban educator, author, and national keynote speaker who is well known for his ability to inspire and educate students of all ages from middle school to college, coach educators, and engage parents. Jaime is the civic engagement coordinator at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism where he leads service-learning programming and designs strategic partnerships with the communities surrounding USC. In addition, Jaime is also a Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Third Space Thinking. He has designed and implemented programming and curriculum for students, parents, and educators in over 30 states across the United States. Jaime was born and raised in the low-income community of South Central Los Angeles to Guatemalan immigrant parents and has dedicated his entire career to helping young people and parents seek better opportunities in school and in life. Jaime earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.

About the Moderator

Martinique Starnes, Ed.D. is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Westside Neighborhood School (WNS), a preschool through 8th-grade independent school located in Los Angeles. In this role, she ensures that WNS is the epitome of an inclusive community – one that welcomes and celebrates all identities, perspectives, and contributions. She is a champion for equity and inclusion, elevating voices throughout educational spaces. Prior to joining WNS, she served as Manager of Diversity, Outreach, and Community Development for the California Charter Schools Association, where she designed and executed leadership development programs for school leaders of color.  She also served for 10 years as the Dean of Counseling and Student Affairs at Verbum Dei High School in the Watts community of Los Angeles.  Her reach is significant, impacting hundreds of thousands of California’s students and educators over her 20-year career. Dr. Starnes is an adjunct professor of Communication Studies at Long Beach City College and holds degrees from USC and LMU including a Doctorate of Educational Leadership for Social Justice.