Education, Spotlight

Toward a College-Oriented Future: How the Parent Education Academy empowers Latino Families to success

By: Jason Leon May 28, 2024

“Being a first-generation student in college is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.” Ms. Luvia confessed during the graduation speech.

One of the most inspiring testaments to the transformative power of education is the story of Ms. Luvia and her family. It illustrates how the Parent Education Academy (PEA) significantly increases access to higher education and fosters a supportive home environment conducive to academic success.

At the recent Parent Education Academy (PEA)-PIQE program graduation at Renaissance Academy in the Alum Rock Union School District, over 30 parents celebrated their achievements, moved by a heartfelt speech from Ms. Luvia, a social studies teacher at Renaissance Academy. 

Ms. Luvia, the daughter of immigrant parents, stood before the crowd as a beacon of hope and resilience. She recounted her journey as a first-generation college student, sharing the challenges she faced while navigating the complex processes of college applications and financial aid. “The easiest part of college for me was getting good grades,” she confessed. “But the nights were very long and frustrating when I had to navigate the process of applying for financial aid – I always ended up crying!”

Reflecting on her path, Ms. Luvia paid a touching tribute to her mother, who was among the graduating class. With gratitude, she acknowledged her mother’s unwavering support despite having limited resources as an immigrant. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mom,” she said, her voice filled with emotion.

Turning to the audience, Ms. Luvia congratulated the parents, especially her own, for taking the crucial step of participating in our academy to support their children’s academic journey. “I am here as proof that the best way to support your child and their goals is what you are doing right now,” she asserted. “Graduating tonight and gaining the tools to be involved in your children’s education—getting to know their teachers, attending games, celebrating their successes, and helping them in their failures. Because they will fail, but with your help, they will move forward.”

Ms. Luvia expressed immense pride in her mother, who has successfully guided two children to college and continues to support her younger siblings toward a college-oriented future. “Through the Parent Education Academy, you now have in your toolkit the resources and knowledge to support your children,” she told the graduates: “Congratulations on your achievements, and thank you for all your love and dedication.”

Stories like Ms. Luvia’s Stories like this inspire our Foundation to continue fostering educational excellence, working to build bridges and amplify voices, and ensuring that every Latino has the opportunity to thrive and contribute to Silicon Valley’s region.