One local organization is working with other businesses to improve college access for men in the Coachella Valley.
For the past eight years, the Gents Alliance Program has worked with a number of different resources, to increase the college and career success amongst men, here in the Coachella Valley.
“It was a way for me to like, be out of my comfort zone and also like for me, to get help for school.” Javel Villagrana, a student with Gents Alliance says.
The Gents Alliance program within OneFuture Coachella Valley originally started with a male scholarship, with hopes to provide a proper network for their young individuals completing their post-secondary degrees.
“In the region, we’re specifically focusing on helping our students complete A-G, which are the key indicators for students and requirements for students to be able to enter a CSU or UC campus.” Ernie Rios, the Vice President of College Success for OneFuture Coachella Valley says.
The organization helps individuals beyond that, helping them attend community colleges and trade schools as well.
All of the members in the Gents Alliance program are currently pursuing a post-secondary degree, with many of them thankful this program exists.
“I was in the program myself, and I could see it helped me to become who I am. I’ve had three overdoses, and if it wouldn’t have been for my mentor, that would keep me encouraged, for me to keep up with my success. I wouldn’t be here.” Jose Ortega, a Mentor for Gents Alliance says.
Now, to continue this effort, the Gents Alliance are set to host their annual kick off event this Friday at 9 a.m., inviting both high school and college students.
“We’re going to get them all together. We’re going to discuss their missions, their purpose, their goals, we’re going to talk about scholarships, internships, apprenticeships, here in the Coachella Valley, that they can access.” Juan Sibrian, an intern with Gents Alliance says.
With goals to better the community one individual at a time.
“One thing that we’ve noticed in talking to business leaders here in the Coachella Valley, is that the soft skills necessary to succeed, there’s a lot of young people that are lacking in them… so what we’re here to do is we’re here to develop those skills so that they can better themselves and that they can better their community.” Sibrian says.
Friday’s event includes leadership workshops, network building activities, and opportunity giveaways, all to help individuals here in the Coachella Valley succeed in both their academic and career goals.