FONTANA, CA – Five Henry J. Kaiser High School seniors will attend UC Berkeley in the fall, an achievement supported by their involvement in the school’s numerous college readiness programs and resources that prepare students for future excellence.

Senior Daisy Alatorre-Cervantes plans to double major in business administration and management, technology, and entrepreneurship, with a minor in legal studies. She dreams of becoming the chief executive officer of her own healthcare insurance line for immigrants and low-income families.

“My personal experience with my mom having to avoid medical facilities because she was undocumented and unable to afford proper health insurance inspired me in my career pursuits,” Alatorre-Cervantes said. “People deserve to have their personal health be prioritized and taken care of in order to live a long and healthy life, regardless of their financial or citizenship status.”

Senior Melvin Damper will study media studies with a tentative career path in law at UC Berkeley, David Valenzuela will major in aerospace engineering, Frida Monreal will pursue public health, and Fernando Martinez will study applied mathematics and computer science with the hopes of becoming a software engineer for a major technology company.

Alatorre-Cervantes, Damper and Monreal all participated in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program at Kaiser High School, which taught them vital study, note-taking, organization and research skills that have aided them in overall college readiness.

“AVID is all about giving students the opportunities and tools to pursue higher education,” AVID coordinator Rebecca Johnson said. “Starting from when students first enter the program, we push that we want them to apply to colleges. Then, when the time comes, they get to make their own decision about which school to attend, if any. They aren’t forced into one pathway because it’s the only one open to them.”

In the AVID program, students have the chance to meet with college tutors multiple times a week, connect with college representatives that come to campus, take field trips to various colleges and universities, and receive assistance with their college applications.

All five UC Berkeley enrollees are also part of the Advanced Placement (AP) program, a rigorous set of high school courses that allow students to earn college credits upon passing AP exams at the end of the school year. The AP program helps better prepare students for college by getting them familiar with college-level work and helping them develop time management, critical thinking and scholarly writing skills.

Kaiser High School also offers a dual enrollment program in partnership with Chaffey College, which allows high school students to concurrently enroll in college-level courses while pursuing their high school diploma. Alatorre-Cervantes is the only Fontana Unified student that will also graduate from Chaffey College as part of the dual enrollment program this year. She was also voted “Most Likely to Graduate Early from College” at a recent AVID Senior Awards program.

“College and career readiness is a Districtwide effort in Fontana Unified, supported by rigorous educational programs and a dedicated team of employees,” Superintendent Miki R. Inbody said. “Our UC Berkeley-bound scholars exemplify what is possible when we empower our students to strive for excellence and provide them with the resources to help them achieve their goals.”


FUSD_KAISER_BERKELEY: (From left to right) Henry J. Kaiser High School seniors Daisy Alatorre-Cervantes, Melvin Damper, Fernando Martinez, Frida Monreal and David Valenzuela will attend UC Berkeley in the fall after taking advantage of the school’s college readiness programs.