UC partners with Boys & Girls Club to increase enrollment, diversity

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Rachael Garner/File

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The university announced Wednesday that it will partner with Boys & Girls Club of America, or BGCA, to increase UC enrollment of Californians and undergraduate-student diversity statewide.

As a part of the partnership, set to begin later this year, all 10 campuses will provide club members with opportunities to meet faculty and students as well as information about applying to UC campuses. Three campuses — UCLA, UC San Francisco and UC Merced — will launch a pilot program to provide members of BGCA with further guidance in the application process.

According to the release, the university is ahead of UC President Janet Napolitano’s goal announced last year to enroll 5,000 additional in-state students systemwide. As part of a 2015 budget agreement with the state, the university will receive $25 million in state funds if it admits an additional 10,000 in-state students over the next three years.

Fred Roselli, the senior director of communication at BGCA, said its main goal is to help those from underserved neighborhoods and backgrounds.

The club currently works with 560,000 youths in California every year. Through the first stage of this partnership, Roselli said the club hopes to reach 20,000 middle school and high school students before expanding later. Plans for increasing outreach further will be developed this fall, according to Damon Williams, the senior vice president of programs, training and youth development services for BGCA.

“We’ll provide support and exposure to college at a much earlier age,” Roselli said. “By basically exposing them to the college application process (we can) show them their goals are achievable.”

Roselli said while his organization has partnered with other schools previously, this is its first partnership across a whole state school system.

“I think the point of the entire thing is to get under-resourced students,” said Angelica Simsuangco, a campus sophomore. “I don’t think this is a bad idea at all.”

Contact Michael Lee at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @_HyunkyuL.