BEST participants Roxana, Leandro, Vianey, Jorge, Ellesse, James, Kelly and Moises joined by Board Chair Grant Cambridge, CEO David Doyle, Brown University student and Value Schools alumna Brittany Loew, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology student and Value Schools alumnus Victor Reyes at Harvard University.For the sixth year in a row, Board Chair Grant Cambridge has generously provided promising Value Schools students the opportunity to broaden their academic horizons.

Eight tenth and eleventh grade students from University Prep Value High School and Central City Value High School were provided an all-expenses-paid trip to New England to tour some of the most prestigious schools in the country. The experience exposed students to educational institutions and opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach.

For Value Schools students, visiting college and university campuses "Back East" is a new and eye-opening experience. Roxana, Leandro, Vianey, Jorge, Ellesse, James, Kelly and Moises all broadened their educational horizons in a whirlwind three-day trip. The group toured Brown University, Northeastern University, Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University.

Seeing it in person made me want to aim for it and achieve it... it made us all feel like we could do it, too."
-- Moises, University Prep Value High School

Mr. Cambridge, Denise Marroquin-Chiang (Central City Value High School College Counselor), and Kathryn Hanling (University Prep Value High School's Biology teacher) began this year's BEST journey months ago. Interested students completed applications and were chosen based on grades, extra-curricular engagement, educational aspirations, and teacher feedback.

"The purpose of the trip," explained Mr. Cambridge, "is to help students and families understand that access to institutions like these is not necessarily out of reach. It's broadening their perspectives, their horizons, exposing them to something they wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to experience. And with so many students from Value Schools now attending these institutions, it feels more real than ever."

best2018 17 2 The trip has paid off for every student at Value Schools. Participants return to share their observations and insight with peers. And after six years of the BEST experience, students from Value Schools are able to visit former classmates currently attending these prestigious institutions!

Students hear about expensive private institutions from college counselors and teachers year-round. But hearing from Value Schools' graduates who have made it to these campuses make attending these universities feel like a real possibility.

I would like to become someone that people look up to, someone to reach out to. This trip made me feel I can be that kind of person."
-- Roxane, Central City Value High School

"Seeing it in person made me want to aim for it and achieve it," said Moises, a University Prep Value student. "It was easy to think someone like me didn't belong there, because of my background or skin color, but we got to meet students like us who came from the same place we did, and it made us all feel like we could do it, too."

Students were thrilled to reunite with with Value Schools alumni when visiting these famous institutions. Brittany Loew, alumna of Value Schools in 2016 and now a sophomore at Brown University, introduced students to her new campus. Victor Reyes, graduate of Value Schools in 2017 and now a freshman at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proudly met our students to show them the lay of the land.

best2018 25Visits to college libraries and dorms led to questions about admissions, cost, scarcity of resources, documentation status, and the cultural and social adjustments students often face when going to college.

With similar backgrounds and aspirations, alumni explained they were not stopped by similar restraints and are living proof that Value Schools students can attend these and other distinguished institutions.

"I would like to become someone that people look up to, someone to reach out to," said Roxane, a junior from Central City Value High School. "This trip made me feel I can be that kind of person."

Value Schools thanks Grant and Peggy Cambridge for providing the BEST opportunity for Value Schools students, helping open their eyes to what is possible and giving all our students a chance to succeed and thrive.


Over the following months, Value Schools will be sharing more about our students' experience in the BEST program. These exposés will focus on the impact such experiences have on family members, teachers, other students at Value Schools, and on the students themselves. Stay tuned for more!

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Downtown Value School Downtown Value School 
950 West Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Phone: (213) 748-8868
Fax: (213) 742-6684
Everest Value School Everest Value School
668 South Catalina St.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Phone: (213) 487-7736
Fax: (213) 487-7745
Central City Value High School Central City Value High School
221 North Westmoreland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Phone: (213) 471-4686
Fax: (213) 385-5127
University Prep Value High School University Prep Value High School
1929 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Phone: (213) 382-1223