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SVP International

From the Desk of Executive Director, Jose Cruz

Posted by SDSVP

Dear BLCI family and friends,

It’s the end of our second quarter and the new year has gotten off to an exciting start! Thank you for helping us ensure all students have access to higher education resulting in thriving communities and a better world. This year our senior class of 17 students submitted over 190 college applications. More than any other year in BLCI’s history! It’s too early to celebrate acceptances, as they are just beginning to roll in, but one young lady is piling them up.

Yulvi Reyes, BLCI senior, has received acceptances from the University of Redlands, Whittier College, Cal Lutheran, Northern Arizona University, CSU Channel Islands, CSU Dominguez Hills, Azusa Pacific University, Menlo College, The University of La Verne, Westmont College, and Colorado State University and we’re just getting started.

Yulvi’s not only academically stellar she is one of our most vibrant leaders. She was instrumental in informing the vision and mission statements for our premier student leadership program, the Executive Director’s Leadership Council (EDLC), where students use nonprofit techniques such as strategic planning and fundraising to make change in their community. This year, Yulvi is the Co-President of EDLC and the Chair of the Passion Outreach Committee. She is in charge of efforts to encourage other disadvantaged students in her community to develop a passion for their future in order to encourage them to pursue a higher education.

Students are taking what they learn at BLCI and using it to make change even beyond the community. This year, Yulvi started her own program in Tijuana to support children of refugees detained at the border called Inocente Voces sin Voz (Innocent Voices without a Voice). She developed her own mission statement for the project, a strategic plan and began to raise awareness and supplies for the families here at BLCI. This summer Yulvi and her colleagues in EDLC will be publishing a book on the experiences of immigrants and other oppressed identities as well as putting on a conference for the community to inspire leadership and civic engagement.

Yulvi demonstrates great maturity, integrity, morality and leadership and I am fully confident that she will succeed in whatever path she chooses. Nonetheless, the struggle is challenging for Yulvi and her family. Yulvi has an older sister, Isela, who also went through BLCI and just graduated from Mills College, a private women’s college in the Bay Area. Although she received some financial aid, the parents had to make serious sacrifices to send their daughter there. Now they’re hoping Yulvi can find a better financial aid package as their father, the sole provider, recently became unemployed due to an injury. Yulvi’s parents often say that an education is the only inheritance they can leave their daughters, a sentiment shared by all BLCI parents. That’s where the larger San Diego community of supporters come in. Yulvi’s story would not be possible without you.

I’m happy to announce that helping us create more of these stories are four new and wonderful Board members: Tara Agen (Executive Director and Chief of Staff with HP), Heather Lattimer (Executive Director and Associate Professor Institute for Entrepreneurship in Education, Department of Learning and Teaching, School of Leadership and Education Sciences, University of San Diego), Susy Villegas (President with SVPR Communications), and Danny Zaragoza (Director, Emergency Management with San Diego Gas and Electric). We are happy to have them on board and excited about the great work we will get to accomplish together!

We hope to celebrate all the great work you’ve helped us accomplish in these last 21 years at our Opportunity for Impact fundraiser this year benefitting students like Yulvi from third grade through college and their parents. We’re lucky to have Jerry Sanders and Rana Sampson as our Honorary Chairs and Keith Behner and Catherine Stiefel as our Event Co-Chairs. It would be great to see you all there!


José A. Cruz. Ed. M.

Executive Director

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