Saving seniors: The job of college advisors


Andres Luzania

College advisor Juan Ochoa (Right) helps Senior Jocelyn Aguilar (Left) fill out her pending FASFA application today in room B-1.

Andres Luzania, Staff Writer

College application season ended last November, but college advisors Juan Ochoa, a UCLA graduate, and Cathy Kwon, a UC Irvine alumni continue to help seniors with important steps towards college such as financial aid and pending college applications.

“We specifically help with college applications, financial aid, hosting college-related events such as college fairs and college rep visits, explaining housing situations and what to do after admission,” said Kwon. 

This school year, Ochoa and Kwon have been going from classroom to classroom, giving crucial information and assistance, and encouraging student engagement with the College Center.

“Our primary goal is to give resources to students about college, jobs, or anything related to after high school and reach out to students who do not know what options they have,” said Ochoa.

Ochoa and Kwon both attended a four-year UC and described the challenges and roadblocks they had during their high school years.

“I personally did not have these resources in high school and believed I could not attend a four-year college and thought community college was my only choice and no way I could succeed in a four year,” said Ochoa

“Growing up in a first-generation, low-income, immigrant background the counselors in my school did not have college support or access, which made it challenging to navigate by myself,” said Kwon.

The College Center provides many resources for students so they do not have to go through overwhelming applications alone. Ochoa expressed the biggest challenge the college center faces with students.

“Outreach has been the biggest challenge that we face this year, when we set up an event we always see the same students every time,” said Ochoa.

Ochoa and Kwon have been actively looking for solutions to get more engagement from students, specifically seniors.

“Social media has been effective in reaching out to students, Remind slips, just getting in students’ faces has been really effective in more engagement,” stated Ochoa.

The College Center holds events and workshops every week and can be found in room B-1.