Graves Middle School celebrated College Awareness and Readiness month with different events on their campus all through out the month of October.
Graves had eight guests from Cal State University Los Angeles visit on Wednesday, October 17, to present to 7th graders and Wednesday, October 24, to present to 8th graders about their university. They shared with students about the college experience and what it takes to get to a university.
On Wednesday, October 17, Graves held a Career Cafe event that allowed students, both 7th and 8th grade, to attend a luncheon that took place in the school’s library. Students were served pizza and had the opportunity to hear from South Whittier School District’s superintendent, Dr. Gonzales, who shared with students about his personal and professional journey.
Dr. Gonzales shared about his family background and how he overcame obstacles to achieve academic perseverance that allowed him to earn a doctorate degree. He shared how he was able to have his bachelors degree completely paid for through athletic scholarships and how continuing a masters degree, and eventually his doctorate, opened many opportunities that he would not have had otherwise.
“The more education you get, the more choices you get,” he stated. He went on to compare the options education can offer to Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors. “You don’t want to go through life with only 2 options (chocolate and vanilla), you want to have all 31 options available to you, and getting a degree can do that.”
Being the first person in his family to get a degree he knew that education was something he wanted for his own children. He shared how he has encouraged them to get an education of their own so that they could have many doors open to them as well.
“As I grew up and I saw the difficulties my family went through, I looked at my kids and said going to college is not an option. You go to college and you get that degree.”
Lastly, he shared with students the work that it takes to achieve academic success. He told stories about his own experience going through his doctorate program and the challenges that came with it. He encouraged students to stay committed and allow people to support and help them along the way.
“While getting an education, you’ve got to make sure your committed to that and you got to make sure you’re willing to work for it,” he shared. “When you have people who are trying to help and support you, take that help and support. That is what will get you through those difficult times.”