BALDWIN PARK – Jones Jr. High seventh-grader Trinity Heredia entered the 11th annual Baldwin Park Unified College Fair with no clear direction about higher education or careers and left with a stack of college packets, an idea of where she would like to go to college and what she plans to study.

“This event was amazing – it taught me so much about the different types of majors when I get to college and it helped me decide that I want a major that focuses on music,” Trinity said. “The fair showed me that there are so many great college opportunities available and it helped bring Azusa Pacific University to my attention as a college that I would like to attend.”

Trinity attended the Sept. 30 event at Sierra Vista High School with her mother, Araceli, and more than 1,000 Baldwin Park Unified students and parents.

“I know my daughter is still young, but I wanted her to see all the career opportunities one can achieve by attending college,” Araceli Heredia said. “The event also did a great job of describing how colleges work and what to expect in terms of academics, finances, different types of majors and campus life.”

The event featured 45 workshops detailing college issues including admissions, college choice, financial aid and scholarships. Students also met with representatives from 31 institutions, including four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, technical schools and the armed forces.

Assemblywoman Blanca E. Rubio gave the event’s keynote speech, describing how Baldwin Park Unified and a college degree helped her ascend from a low socioeconomic class to the state Assembly.

“I can say from experience that there is no excuse. Poverty is not an excuse, neither is being an undocumented student – the education that we have available is at your fingertips and you all need to take advantage of it,” Rubio said. “No one dictates what you can become, only you can determine that through hard work, dedication and your education choices.”

Sierra Vista High junior Gabriela Favela said the best aspect of attending the college fair was the diversity of college representatives available to meet.

“I want to major in criminal justice so I’m looking into schools that have a good criminal justice program, like UC San Diego since they have a representative here,” Favela said.

Sierra Vista senior Brandon Urbina said he found the graduate panel, featuring Baldwin Park Unified alumni, to be the most helpful workshop because the speakers eased his mind about a host of stressful college topics.

“I learned great tips on how to stay financially stable while in college, to stay out of debt as well as what colleges look for in a student beyond grades and on more of a personal level,” Urbina said. “The speakers also made a great point about keeping your mind open when selecting a major and career because your decisions can always be changed.”

Urbina plans to major in business; he’s considering UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and the University of La Verne.

“Here at Baldwin Park Unified, our mission is to ensure high achievement for all learners – we want our students to continue to achieve when they leave the District and that is why this college fair is so important,” Superintendent Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza said. “Learning firsthand from college representatives and alumni is a great way to take that next step toward achieving their goals.”


BPUSD_FAIR_1: Sierra Vista junior Gabriela Favela speaks with a representative from the Mark Daniel Flores Music Foundation during Baldwin Park Unified’s 11th annual college fair. The Sept. 30 event hosted representatives from 31 institutions, such as four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, technical schools and the armed forces, to speak with attendees about the importance of developing college and career plans.

BPUSD_FAIR_2: Mt. San Antonio College representative Teresa Pham speaks with Baldwin Park Unified students and their parents about financial aid and scholarship opportunities during the District’s 11th annual college fair on Sept. 30. The event featured 45 workshops detailing college issues including admissions, college choice, financial aid, different available majors and campus life.