Former School-To-College Student Shines as First-Generation College Student

Alvaro Carvajal, School-To-College Coordinator


High school is one of the most difficult transitions for young people. There are social, academic and family dynamics that add to the pressures of being in a new learning community. The transition sometimes derails young students’ dream of college, with every year bearing weight on their eligibility.

School-To-College (STC) “College Freshman of the Year” Jasmine Lopez tackled all of these hurdles during her freshman and sophomore years. She is an example of a late bloomer; a student who started off slow in high school but made decisions to follow the process of becoming college eligible. Her moment of clarity came during the summer before her junior year, when she decided she wanted to attend a four-year college.

Once Lopez started believing in the possibility of higher education, she decided to follow through with the process of school credit recovery, which included night school, summer school and online courses to make up for what was lost during her freshman and sophomore years.


Jasmine Lopez

She attended every STC workshop hosted at the school and made it a point to be informed about all opportunities that could help her chances with applying to a four-year university.

Being a first generation college student is a process filled with a great deal of stress, anxiety, fear and some excitement. Lopez has approached the transition from high school to college with a great sense of focus and determination that has translated into a phenomenal first year of college.

With the fall semester in the past, she posted a 3.27 GPA and is working towards finishing the school year with a 4.0.

Jasmine Lopez is an example of how determination, aided by a strong school community and programs like School-To-College, can help accomplish goals. Solidarity and self-reliance is something we strive for when working with student and staff at Academy of Arts and Sciences.

School-To-College (STC), one of the Justice & Diversity Center’s diversity pipeline programs, provides high school students with important resources to graduate high school and enroll in college. Currently embedded in the Academy of Arts & Sciences, the STC program provides guidance, information, coaching, encouragement and opportunity for students in grades 9-12.

For more information about the School-To-College program, visit