FCE Class of 2018 • UC Riverside 2022
Blanca Valencia always knew she wanted to go to college. Growing up in East Palo Alto, Blanca was raised by a tight-knit, family-oriented community. Her parents and her neighbors always supported Blanca’s college endeavors, but they felt like they didn’t know how to get her there. But Blanca had her own will and determination that could move mountains.
In high school, Blanca learned quickly that in order to get to college, she would need to seek out her own resources and ask for help. That grit led her to Foundation for a College Education. She felt that FCE opened doors that she didn’t even know existed: “They had every possible support option available to me.” Along with the one-on-one college advising, SAT prep and college visits, Blanca saw something in FCE that reminded her of her childhood community. “In other programs, a couple of years will go by, and you lose touch. It continues on without you in a way. But at FCE, they always find a way to keep us in our community.”
When Blanca first got to college, she was quite homesick. She recognized how special her relationships back home were, especially at FCE. They had supported and uplifted her, and she soon realized how grateful she was to have that. Lucky for her, that community hadn’t gone anywhere: “I’ve been reaching out to Josue to get support with my classes I’m not doing well in; he’s helping me look for resources.” From the days of college tours and application support to those of financial aid advice and college check ins, FCE has been there for Blanca since the first day she walked through their door. Blanca’s impressive drive will follow her through her 2022 college graduation and on, as she plans to continue her education in law school.