Students and families have the opportunity to hear directly from current college students and their parents/guardians about how they are paying for college and the steps they took to learn about the many options. Both students and families will learn how they can begin preparing for and managing college expenses.

Monicha Boyd is from South Central Los Angeles. A single mother of one son, Curtis L. Simpson III, aka “CJ.” Monicha is very involved in CJ’s life and a huge advocate for him. She became heavily involved when she saw that her son was struggling academically in first grade. Also, the loss of her fiancée caused major pain for both her and CJ. CJ became sad, angry, and defiant. She reached out to every organization that she possibly could, such as 100 Black Men, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Coaches. In addition, Monicha became more aware of her son’s mental state during the pandemic, where CJ became depressed and was struggling academically and socially. It was through The Boys and Girls Club of Venice who stepped right in and assisted her with getting CJ the help that he needed. She took it a step further, and soon CJ was given that voice to share with the world that “no child is left out” and “you are not alone.” Monicha and CJ hope to inspire the world with their truth and for people to get the help that they need. Monicha likes to be identified as a “mother with a purpose.” That purpose is saving our boys and helping them with all of their needs.

My name is Savannah Randle and I’ve lived in Los Angeles County all of my life. I am a recent graduate of Citrus College, where I received two associates of arts in History and Sociology. While attending Citrus I also worked as a Student Ambassador for the college. This was the first time I worked with children. The experience opened my eyes to what I hope will be a career. I have a desire to work in the education and or education adjacent field(s). I am currently studying at Cal State Los Angeles, majoring in history, and pursuing my bachelor’s degree. I feel that education is extremely important, and students should be given any and all opportunities to receive help. My family has played a role in my education. I was a child that went to museums, renaissance fairs, and historical reenactments while growing up. All of this influenced my passions in life. If I can also assist children find what is meaningful to them, or help parents better connect with and learn how to support their child, then I feel as if every day will be fulfilling. On my free time, I enjoy gaming, knitting/crocheting, drawing, and writing. Savannah’s mother, Kerri also shared her experience as a parent supporting her student as she navigates college finances 

From personal experience, I have seen the importance and impact parents and families have on their children’s academic success. As a first-generation college student, Families In School’s mission and vision statement resonates with me. The various trainings, tools, resources, and family engagement programs and initiatives that FIS conducts, are similar to those that mis padres (my parents) took to ensure they were giving me the right apoyo (support). Through my involvement in my community, I’ve gained knowledge on healthcare and educational disparities. This specifically has made me pursue a B.S in Dental Hygiene to educate and reduce disparities in access to oral health care. In my free time, I enjoy baking, exercising, walking my dogs, and growing my plantita (plant) family.

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