When Fred Lentz '65 retired from teaching, he saw a great need to support students from low-income, primarily Hispanic families, to enroll in college. Along with a former student, he co-founded Advance!...on to college, a nonprofit college counseling center in La Habra, CA.
The goal of the center is to make it possible for students, from families where English is not the first language in the home, to enroll in college. This severely under represented demographic has been historically left out of the college equation because there have not been advocates for them.
Lentz and his partner began in 2002 and were able to assist 51 students from just the two high schools in La Habra. By early 2010, over 1,000 students from 68 different high schools in Orange, LA, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties have benefited from Lentz and his colleagues' dedication and direction. The center is open late afternoons and evenings, so the parents can come in too. Lentz notes that they are dealing with a lot of cultural resistance, therefore one of their jobs is to help the families overcome whatever barriers exist in the home that inhibit the students to seek a college education.
"These young people would not be in college if Advance! didn't exist," Lentz says. "We help students and their families with admissions, financial aid (e.g,. the FAFSA), scholarship searches, SAT prep, etc. We have an active board of leading business, professional and educational people, along with a long list of supporters and volunteers."
One thought Lentz would like to share with his fellow Broncos about this experience: "For those of us fortunate enough to have attended Santa Clara, and good schools even before that, it is easy not to notice that all around us are young people and families that have a deep desire for a college education but don't have the knowledge or the means to access it."
To visit Lentz's website, click here.
Read more alumni profiles.
Read more about the alumni for others (afo) program.