In 2000, Loyola High School in Los Angeles began a program to tutor inner city eighth graders so that they could be successful on the High School Placement Test. This program drew primary support from Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount alumni. In the first few years of the program, Dan '70 and Sue '69 White along with other Santa Clara alums were the cornerstones of the program's success.
As the program grew, Loyola High School was able to take over running this much needed program allowing passionate Broncos to move on to develop another tutoring program in East Los Angeles. Kathy Anderson '72 is currently in charge of the Catholic Education Foundation and was the driving force behind Santa Clara's involvement.
In 2005, and a fellow SCU grad, Martin Sanchez '00, launched a similar program at Cathedral High School in East L.A. As the program completed its third year this fall, more than 200 eighth graders from East L.A. attend on four Saturdays to prepare for the entrance test. Additionally, their parents are simultaneously offered seminars on financial aid, application forms and the value of a Catholic High School education.
Starting this year, Verbum Dei High School in Watts is piloting a small program for eighth graders in the surrounding area. Much more modest than the Loyola and Cathedral High programs, this venture has the dual purpose of preparing young men for Catholic High School and increasing Verbum Dei's visibility in the community.
One constant in these endeavors is the involvement of the Whites. For each program, they have written each week's curriculum, trained alumni and high school volunteers and, with the strong support of Anderson, played a key role in helping these programs achieve their goals.
Having made significant success thus far, it is the hope of Anderson, as well as Sanchez and the Whites, that more high schools in the Los Angeles County inner city will embrace this model.
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