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OCAPICA Voices – Paul P.

FB_IMG_1465341646118 (1)Paul P.

OCAPICA Scholar 2010

How has OCAPICA Impacted the story of your life?

As a first-generation Vietnamese-American, my family struggled with finding resources to support ourselves. Fortunately, a family friend shared with us information about OCAPICA and the resources they provided. I participated in the after-school program for four years. I also got to partake in OCAPICA’s free Summer SAT prep program, and then volunteered to support this program the following summer. Finally, near the end of my high school journey, OCAPICA invited me to become one of their first scholars in the OCAPICA Scholars Program to support me in my pursuit of an undergraduate degree.

What are special memories you have of your journey with OCAPICA?

OCAPICA gave me the opportunity to experience Orange County through several different excursions. Some excursions included venturing on a scavenger hunt throughout Garden Grove, collaborating with other nonprofit programs in Los Angeles, and bussing to UCI to experience the Wayzgoose festival. These helped me not only learn more about my community, but develop new friendships that continue to this day.

During the OCAPICA’s free SAT prep program, I recall the summer days I spent with my peers trying to learn test-taking skills and connecting with our tutors; this program not only prepared me for the high-stakes tests, but it provided me with volunteer experiences that led me to my first job.

Finally, I remember the small-award ceremony OCAPICA hosted for the 1st OCAPICA Scholars; here, Jennifer Kuo and Johnson Chang, the past coordinators of the after-school program, recognized the growth my classmates and I made during our time in the program. This experience provided me with the self-efficacy I needed to challenge myself and pursue a higher education.

If you have any other experiences with OCAPICA you would like to share, please write them here:

My time with OCAPICA provided me with many momentous experiences; these in turn had a strong influence in my academic and personal development. Thanks to OCAPICA’s various programs, I have not only earned an undergraduate degree, but am now pursuing a graduate degree in School Psychology. I will always be grateful for the lessons and connections I’ve made, thanks to this organization.

 

Submit your OCAPICA story today: bit.ly/ocapicavoices

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