Ana Hernandez, who was born and raised a San Diego native, speaks about her experience with the Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI), and how the program has profoundly impacted her and shaped her life in many ways. She went to high school in San Diego, and shares with us the different encounters she has faced as a current college student who decided to stay in her hometown. This interview covers the different obstacles Ana faced during her transition from high school to college, the most rewarding experiences she’s had, how she feels BLCI helped prepare her for college, as well as what she feels the BLCI can do to go above and beyond to continue to improve the program for future students. The interviewer met Ana through one of the instructors at BLCI who stated her opinion would be great since she had been in the program since the fourth grade. The interview was conducted at BLCI. The interviewer wanted to interview Ana because they wanted to hear her perspective on how her college experience was, since she was able to be a part of such a wonderful program like the BLCI. The interviewer is Sonia Valadez, a 4th year Political Science and Ethnic Studies major student at UCSD who is also a first generation college student who grew up in Fresno, CA. Sonia felt deeply connected to the interviewee and the Barrio Logan community, which reminded her of her roots and her community that is predominantly Hispanic with higher crime rates and low income households. Sonia wanted the interviewee’s perspective on her college experience and how BLCI has helped her as the interviewer also faced much hardship trying to attend college without any support from the community. The interviewer is deeply engaged and passionate about working with BLCI and interviewing their alum to hear about what they’re up to now, their experiences, and how they can better the program.
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Daniel Mendoza grew up in San Diego, but his family originated from Mexico. I had the pleasure of meeting Daniel through the Barrio Logan College Institute (BlCI). I came to work at BLCI with Daniel through my history class at the University of California San Diego. This class focused on the importance of coming together as a community and reflecting on the oral histories of individuals within the community.  I worked alongside Daniel as he is the assistant director for BLCI. Daniel has a special connection to BLCI because he not only grew up attending it, he also works there now as an assistant directorRead More →

            Krystal Salas was born and raised in Logan Heights, San Diego, California where she spent most of her life moving around the San Diego area and worked her way to becoming a first-generation Latina college student in her family. She also spent most of her life in the Barrio Logan College Institute – BLCI for short -, which is a college readiness program for children from K-12 to make it to a 4-year college or university. She currently attends San Diego State University as a 1st year student and currently works for BLCI as an assistant director for the program. Most of her storyRead More →

Milenia Quintero was born in 2000 at the port of Manzanillo, Mexico and immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of two. Upon arriving she had to learn how to navigate the obstacles of being undocumented in the U.S. and simultaneously pursue higher education. She credits her family and community at Barrio Logan and Barrio Logan College Institute for the motivation that led her to attend the University of Southern California and also becoming an immigration rights activist. This interview covered the following topics of immigration, being undocumented in the U.S., academia, financial aid, Barrio Logan, Barrio Logan College Institute, community,Read More →

Carmen “Mela” Hernandez is a graduate of Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI). She is The Upward Bound Coordinator at Upward Bound, which is housed in BLCI. As a former student of BLCI, she is a first-generation college student and child of immigrants from Michoacán. She talks about navigating challenges in her academic career, her time attending UCLA, and the beginnings of her professional life. The interview covers cultural differences surrounding college attendance in Mexico and the United States of America, as well as various college prep programs in San Diego. I met her while I was an Alumni Outreach intern at BLCI. I am aRead More →

Ashley Gonzalez is a current high school senior who will be starting at the University of San Diego in the fall of 2019. Having grown up Logan Heights her whole life with her parents and her younger sister, Gonzalez is both a product of and contributor to the Logan Heights community. Gonzalez has been involved in organizations such as Cinco Lo Mujeres, the Community Converse Conference, and the ACLU Summer Institute. All of her activism has fueled her passion for social and environmental justice, as well as cultural representation for the Latinx community. This interview covers a range of topics ranging from the struggles GonzalezRead More →

Benito Valez is a 14-year-old 9th grade student from Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI) who identifies as Mexican American. Benito was born and raised in Logan Heights and currently attends High Tech High Media Arts, a project based public charter school in Point Loma. He lives in Logan Heights with his mother, older brother, and older sister and enjoys soccer and music such as Hip-Hop and Rap. This interview covered the following topics: community, gentrification, homelessness, activism, family, personal interests, education, and future aspirations. Benito described the effects he has seen due to the increase of gentrification in Barrio Logan. He discussed the large amountRead More →

Reynaldo Arellano, also known as Rey, born on June 3rd, 2004 in the County of San Diego is a 14 year old male of Mexican-American descent, aspiring to one day graduate from a four year university because he believes it is the first step to a successful career and will allow him to give back to his community. He is currently a 9th grade student who has been a part of the Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI) for 3 years. He loves to play volleyball, video games, and hang out with friends whenever he can. I met Rey during my weekly visits to the BarrioRead More →

Salma Parra is an incoming freshman (2019-20) at University of California, San Diego with the major Public Health. She is interested in the intersections of healthcare and Latinx community as she is planning on pursuing a double major in Chican@ Studies. She identifies as an upcoming first-generation, working-class college student. This interview covers a range of topics surrounding identity, family, higher education, community, and being Mexican-American. These specific topics covered all factor into how she navigates the world and guided her endeavor in pursuing higher education. I met Salma after reading her scholarship application at the Barrio Logan College Institute and I was so inspiredRead More →