Tuesday, 25 June 2024

College-Going Initiative seeks to send more local students off to universities, four-year colleges

Alicyn Yaffee accepting a certificate at the April 28 reception. She moves on to Sacramento State. Her sister went on to college last year. Her father is comedian Marc Yaffee of Kelseyville. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


LAKE COUNTY – Efforts to increase the number of local students who will attend four-year colleges are seeing results, say county education officials.

The Lake County Office of Education's College-Going Initiative, now in its fourth year, seeks to give students the knowledge they need about college requirements in order to move them on to higher education, said Jamey Gill, a curriculum and instruction specialist.

It appears to be working based on a few years' worth of data, although the county's college attendance numbers still aren't huge.

Gill said last year 105 local students were accepted to four-year colleges. That number edged up slightly this year to 108. Gill called the numbers “encouraging.”

This year the program has begun tracking community college students making the move to a four-year school this year, said Gill. Five students from Yuba College are going on to new schools, and the Lake County Office of Education is working with Mendocino College to track how many local students are moving to four-year institutions.

Twenty-six local graduates were accepted at University of California institutions, among them Santa Cruz, Berkeley and Davis, said Gill. Popular California State Universities include Sonoma State – one of the schools with the largest Lake County student population – along with Humboldt, Chico and Sacramento.

A few students are even on their way to out-of-state schools, Gill added.

The business of getting to college, said Gill, is much bigger than just having good grades or filling out the application.

A great deal rests on completion rates for “A” through “G” courses, which are completed in high school and make students eligible to attend four-year colleges or universities, she explained.

“We are below the state average, though, and that's what we're really working on,” she said. “We want to get kids eligible.”

Gill said many students don't understand the course requirements until it's too late. “It makes many voices” outside of school counselors – including parents, teachers and others – to get the message across, she added.

Lake County Office of Education Superintendent Dave Geck said the resources that go into the program are a combination of his agency's staff coupled with the staff efforts of higher education partners such as the University of California, San Francisco.

The Office of Education receives money from the University of California to assist in some of the program's projects, said Geck.

The College-Going Initiative includes special grade-level activities to get students to the point of meeting all the criteria for higher education, said Geck.

Those activities include special presentations, college visitations, SAT preparation classes and financial aid workshops, and algebra academies for eighth graders, he said.

The initiative tops off the year with a celebration of students who are making that next big step in their education.

On April 28, the Lake County Office of Education held its third annual dinner and reception for students accepted to four-year institutions.

Eighty-five of the 113 students honored – along more than 100 family members, friends and teachers – attended the evening event, held at Kelseyville High School.

Also there to recognize the students were two dozen top officials from a cross section of Lake County school districts.

Guest speakers included Dr. Blas Guerrero from the University of California Office of the President, Geck and Kathy Kelley from the office of state Sen. Pat Wiggins.



Dr. Blas Guerrero speaks to students April 28. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


Guerrero offered comparisons of his personal experiences of his growth and education in California to the future opportunities the soon to be graduates may look forward to and advised that they could return to Lake County as “the role models of the next class of graduates.”

Geck said Guerrero has personally helped Lake County's College-Going Initiative in its efforts.

The Kelseyville High School Jazz band provided the evening's music and several Kelseyville high students contributed their time and efforts in the kitchen as well as serving and busing tables during the dinner hour.



Lake County Office of Education Superintendent David Geck speaking at the annual reception dinner April 28. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


Gill said the students “were really excited” at the event.

“It just pumps the kids up,” she said.

The dinner is meant to encourage the students and make sure they take the next steps to get to college in the fall, said Gill. It's also an opportunity for families to celebrate and be recognized.



The annual dinner celebrates students going on to college along with their families. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


Many of the young people served by the initiative are the first in their family to make it to college, she noted.

Gill said the initiative is trying to keep the upward growth trend for college attendance going. In the coming years she believe some local education programs like algebra academies are going to increase the pool of students eligible to attend college.

Just around the corner is another College-Going Initiative event, Higher Education Week II, scheduled for May 12 and 13. The two days of workshops are aimed at all local students – upper elementary, middle and high school – and their parents, and offer the chance to learn more about several visiting colleges, as well as the college and financial aid application processes.

Lake County students accepted at four-year colleges or universities

Karina Acosta, Saint Mary's College

Jayson Adair, DeVry

Myrna Aleman, CSU Sonoma

Rathid Aliji, UC Riverside

Cecily Anaraki, UC Irvine

Johnathan Bateman, CSU Humboldt

Katrina Beaudin, CSU Sacramento

Cassie Belden, UC Santa Barbara

Nathan Bell, UC Irvine

Amanda Bettencourt, UC Davis

Danielle Bettencourt, Pacific Union College

Cole Bordisso, CSU Sonoma

Casey Bowlin, UC Santa Barbara

Kasey Bresso, University of Wyoming

Bianka Buchanan, CSU Long Beach

Celestine “CeCe” Burgher, CSU Sacramento

Rawley Butler, Silver Lake College (Wisconson)

Annemarie Catrambone, Art Institute of San Francisco

Daniella Cazares, CSU Long Beach

Luis Cazares, CSU Sacramento

Cori Cockerton, CSU Sacramento

Noemi Cocone, Saint Mary's College

Krista Collins, CSU Sonoma

Guy Conger, Whitworth University of Washington

Ashley Crawford, CSU Humboldt

Kristin Currier, CSU Sonoma

Nikeedra Davis, CSU Chico

Katie Davis, CSU Humboldt

Candy Diener, CSU Sonoma

Nicholas Driver, UC Santa Barbara

Chyere Duncan, CSU Sacramento

Antoine Ellis, CSU Sacramento

Zoe Everett, University of Minnesota

Jennifer Frazell, University of Nevada Las Vegas

Daniel Gildea, UC Davis

Tyler Glazier, Brigham Young University, Idaho

Ashlee Graham, UC Santa Cruz

Robin Grayhorse, UC Santa Cruz

Rebecca Grupe, CSU Sacramento

Vanessa Guerrero, CSU Sonoma

Tracy Herrmann, Pillsbury Baptist Bible College

Jameson Holder, Crown College, Minnesota

Tyler Hunt, UC Santa Cruz

Erik Jameson, UC Davis

Trevor Johns, CSU San Diego

Loren Jones, DeVry

Norris Jones III, DeVry

Correy Koshnick, CSU Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Ashley Lamb, CSU Sonoma

Bobby Latona, CSU Humboldt

Anna Lopez, Southern Oregon University

Benjamin Lopez, CSU Humboldt

Kyle Lowry, DeVry

Beatris Lozano, CSU San Francisco

Kate Lyons, UC Berkeley

Haley Mabery, University of Oregon

Benjamin MacDonald, Whitworth University of Washington, California Baptist University

Armando Martinez, St. Mary's College

Samantha Mattern, CSU Northridge

Maria Mendoza, CSU Sacramento

Jennifer Miller, CSU Chico

Stephanie Mitten, CSU Humboldt

Teina Moore, CSU Chico

Amanda Moore, UC Santa Cruz

Kayla Myrick, UC Davis

Kylynn Nelson, DeVry

Sarah Norris, UC Davis

Tyler O'Brien, Lourdes College

Kersti Olof, CSU Sonoma

Kellen Olson, CSU Chico

Francisco Olvera, DeVry

Victor Padilla, UC Davis

Hina Parmar, CSU San Jose

Aryn Pauly, CSU Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Cierrra Peel, CSU Long Beach

Valerie Peng-Plevney, CSU Sacramento

Danielle Peterson, SF Academy of Art

Cynthia Pimentel, UC Davis

Joseph Rebolledo, CSU San Diego

Gabriela Reyes, CSU Sonoma

Victor Rico, CSU Sacramento

Darcy Rogers, CSU Humboldt

Chuck Rosencrans, UC Berkeley

Mary Ruffcorn, CSU Humboldt

Geneve Rupert, Schiller University

Joshua Salazar, UC Davis

Juan Salguero, CSU Humboldt

Jesse Salmeron, UC Santa Cruz

Austin Schader, CSU Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Kelsey Sills, CSU Sacramento

Ashley Smith, Simpson University

Brent Smith, Masters College

Corey Smith, CSU Humboldt

Jodi Snider, Lewis & Clark

Conor Sullivan, CSU Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Maegan Taylor, CSU San Diego

Noah Thorn, CSU Sacramento

Keith Todd, UC Davis

Nancy Trejo, UC Santa Barbara

Ashley Underwood, CSU Sonoma

Veronica Valadez, CSU Sonoma

Enrique Villanueva, CSU Chico

George Weiss, UC Berkeley

Andy Weiss, CSU San Jose

Nicole Wells, UC San Diego

Eric Wessendorf, UC Santa Cruz

Alexandrea Williams, CSU Sonoma

Beau Woodson, UC Berkeley

Alicyn Yaffee, CSU Sacramento

Megan Young, CSU San Marcos

Jonathon Ziemanski, DeVry

Elise Zolczynski, UC Santa Barbara

E-mail Harold LaBonte at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Upcoming Calendar

06.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
06.29.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.02.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
Independence Day
07.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.09.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.16.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.