WLAC Grads From Culver City Advance To UCLA, Cal State & Careers

West Los Angeles College marked the end of its 50th Anniversary Celebration at their commencement on Tuesday, June 4. Special moments included recognition of the college's second Baccalaureate class which doubled in size from last year to 49 dental hygiene degree recipients. West is one of only 15 California community colleges authorized to offer a bachelor's degree. This was also the first class with graduates who benefited from the College Promise Program that provides one year of free tuition to first-time, full-time freshmen.

Like the student population at West, the graduates' journeys to this milestone where diverse. Ebony Garry had to balance the demands of her four children with the requirements of the classroom; while Juan Gramajo Jr., an active duty U.S. Marine, attended many classes online. Jacqueline Mahoney, already a university graduate, came to West to change direction and become a paralegal. Traditional-age student Sara Rio is the first in her family to graduate from college and part of the afore mentioned College Promise Program. She collected three associate degrees at the ripe old age of just 18. "Since I was a child, I always wanted to go to college," she said. Her determination was so strong that she transferred from University high school to Cheviot Hills Continuation which allowed her to concurrently take more college classes while still in high school. She took so many that she graduated a year early and entered college with a significant number of requirements completed. Boasting a 3.92 GPA, she has been accepted to all nine University of California campuses and selected UC Berkeley where she will attend on full scholarship.

Approximately 15 percent of this year's 1,200 associate degree and certificate recipients are Culver City, Palms and Mar Vista residents. Five percent are from Culver City. Here are a few stories from Culver City High graduates who are now also West Los Angeles College alumni Program. "The resources at West exceeded my expectations." Almario was accepted to multiple Cal State and University of California campus. He is headed to UCLA in the fall.

Foster Youth. "Be better than the negative influences around you," she said. Fey will complete her bachelor's degree at Cal State Dominquez Hills. "West allowed me to take classes at my own pace," which was helpful when she needed to help a family member fight deportation. Now she is full steam ahead.

West Los Angeles College is located at 9000 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230. The college is a ACCJC‐accredited community college providing full‐time, part‐time and online paths to university transfer and career preparation.


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