Why #IChooseCollege: Stephanie Morin, ACE Class of 2018, UC Merced Class of 2022

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“#IChooseCollege because graduating from UC Merced would be the greatest accomplishment in my life. I want to be able to help my family – if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here.”

-Stephanie Morin, ACE Class of 2018, UC Merced Class of 2022
[2nd student from the right]

Today, ACE Charter Schools launches #IChooseCollege to raise awareness about our unique mission, focusing on students who have fallen the furthest behind and showing them college is possible. We are seeing amazing success in our students, who are majority first-generation, low-income and Latino. Our high school graduates choose college at more than double the national rate of students with similar demographics.

One of the ways ACE builds the college success pipeline is through partnerships with colleges and universities. 10% of ACE graduates attend UC Merced, a university at the forefront of serving first-generation college students and Latinos. We have seen our graduates persist at UC Merced because for them, being part of a campus that reflects their own community helps them feel a sense of belonging.

Stephanie’s Mom, Hortencia Torres, shares her perspective:

“Me siento muy orgullosa de tener a mi hija en UC Merced porque ahí ella obtendrá las herramientas necesarias para llegar ser una profesional, tener éxito en su vida y a la misma vez para servir a la comunidad.”

[English Translation]: “I feel very proud to have my daughter at UC Merced because there she will obtain the necessary tools to become a professional, to be successful in her life and at the same time to serve the community.”

Looking towards the future, we will continue to strengthen our partnerships with universities across the nation to dramatically increase the number of first-generation college graduates and in turn, transform entire neighborhoods and communities.

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