ALearn a “Catalyst” low income students

This summer, 54 low-income middle school students from Mountain View Whisman School District dedicated 6 1/2 hours each day to catalyzing their math and study skills and preparing for college-prep classes at Los Altos and Mountain View High Schools, thanks to your generous support.

In addition to 4 hours of math, ALearn’s Catalyst to High School’s students spent 1 ½ hours preparing for the transition to high school and beyond by:

  • Learning study skills and note-taking techniques
  • Participating in career-path self-assessments
  • Visiting local universities
  • Preparing ‘college scrap boards’ to help them make college-readiness a reality

Credentialed teachers and teaching assistants, some former ‘Catalyst’ students, run the program.

Glenda Vargas, a third-year ALearn teaching assistant and Chapman University senior, had a blast in ‘Catalyst’ before starting at Los Altos High School.

“I wanted to get a flavor of what high school would be like and to become familiar with the materials,” Vargas said.

She did not have transportation to or from school, so she and a classmate rode the 6 a.m. bus every morning and returned in the afternoon, rewarding themselves with a Jack in the Box treat each day after class.

Another ‘Catalyst’ student said the program opened new worlds to her.

‘Catalyst’ student Ana Jiminez said the program helped her discover that math is exciting and isn’t just numbers and equations.

“Even though math wasn’t my favorite subject in school coming into ‘Catalyst’,” Jiminez said, “the program made me realize that math actually was my favorite subject.”

She said the teachers created an exciting learning environment.

“They were very helpful to every student and made the program fun…,” said Jiminez.

Thanks to your support, the Los Altos Community Foundation’s Community Grants program can continue to help inspire more students like Ana, Glenda and others who need an extra boost to succeed.