The Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, May 14 hosted 250 high school juniors from six school districts in three different counties, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Kern, at their 10th annual Education, Leadership, and Careers Conference.
This culminating event for EAOP high school juniors aims to provide both professional and undergraduate perspectives that will help students envision their own success — as college students and as professionals.
“The goal of the conference is to inspire and motivate high school juniors to stay on their path to college eligibility and keep the doors of opportunity open and available,” said Britt Ortiz, director of EAOP. We want to show participants how all three of these consideration — education, leadership and careers — relate to each other, build on one another and impact a person’s lifestyle options and help shape their path to career success.”
The majority of participating students at the ELCC Conference are first generation, low-income or under-resourced students who are enrolled in EAOP and on track to complete their CSU-UC eligibility requirements by high school graduation. These students are extremely motivated and many are school leaders, highly competitive academically and interested in pursuing a four-year degree and multiple majors.
During the conference, they will hear from keynote speaker, Laura V. Farber, a graduate of UCLA and a partner in the Pasadena law firm of Hahn & Hahn LLP. Farber was named one of the top 50 women lawyers in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal and as Woman of the Year 2019 representing the 41st Assembly District of California, among myriad other plaudits and accomplishments.
After Farber’s address, students will break into small groups for mini-mentoring sessions with three of the 12 different professional speakers in attendance. The speakers come from a variety of fields and backgrounds and include eight UC Santa Barbara alumni, each with a unique and empowering success story, many the first in their family to pursue higher education.
“All of our speakers have overcome the odds,” Ortiz said, “so when they share how they have put their education, leadership and career together, they are modeling how to be successful in spite of the odds. That’s when the magic happens — those special moments when our attending students begin to be inspired, motivated and fired up to believe their dreams can come true with dedication and hard work.”
During the conference students also will review career related data from various industries and engage in a discussion with their peers and undergrads about careers and majors. Later in the afternoon, students will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A discussion session with a panel of UCSB undergraduate students representing a diverse range of majors, campus leadership roles and career interests.
The UCSB Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) is a pre-college academic preparation program implemented to promote a college going culture and increase enrollment rates to all four systems of California Higher Education. In order to enroll in EAOP, students must be on college-prep track (A-G eligible) and remain eligible through graduation.