Testimonials from our OCAPICA Scholars…because once a Scholar always a Scholar!

“Describing the OCAPICA Scholars to an outsider is an easy task. An incredible and supportive program that has helped me accomplish my goals and get me started on the right path to success. Making it possible for me not to worry about money being a factor in why I drop out due to a lack of income. The kind and caring friends that I’ve met during my time with OCAPICA and the memories that were made. There is nothing that can ever replace that. These two years went by so quickly that it is sad for me to say goodbye.

I want to truly say a big THANK YOU to both Kassie and Jody for believing in me and never doubting in what I can achieve coming into your program as a 17-year-old. Always being there for me whenever I had questions and needed help. You two have played a great role in my life and I will never forget that as I now move onto San Diego State University to try to get my Bachelor’s Degree.”

Siliyan, 2015 Scholar

“I was very fortunate to have a group like OCAPICA to help me navigate through the confusion that I felt throughout college. The scholars workshops helped me develop professional and organizational skills that I use today. More importantly, OCAPICA helped me be a part of a community that allowed me to not feel alone in my confusion.”

Alicia, 2015 Scholar

“If it was not for OCAPICA, I would not have ever found out about the Educational Talent Search open positions which as a result I am now employed and really do enjoy working to help high school students with low resources. This program not only supports students with scholarships but also provides us with great tips about how to deal with stress as well as how to prepare ourselves to become more professional so that when it comes to applying for jobs, we are better qualified. I also like how this program does care for students and genuinely do constantly worry about how we are feeling and performing in our classes. Some advice that I would give to future college students would be to join programs where you have support and can feel free to ask questions in order to make college enjoyable and have success. The help and support is out there, but all you have to do is look and research for it.”

Daniel, 2016 Scholar

“My experience as a OCAPICA Scholar has opened many opportunities for me. Like being able to meet new people by doing community service, being prepared for college etc. Doing the workshops while I was in college it made become more organize to find a way to have time management. It has made a impact in my life knowing that there are people willing to help out succeed in college. To describe OCAPICA Scholars to an outsider I would tell them that it will have many opportunities and a lot preparation for college.”

Marylee, 2016 Scholar

“OCAPICA has impacted my life because I am leaving this program with so much knowledge that will be very useful to me. Thanks to this group, I have learned so much about college, studying skills, financing skills, and how to get a career. I can imagine how lost I would have been without this program. I always felt like I could rely on anyone in this group. I went to Kassie when I had a very difficult professor for help and she helped me. I went to Mandy when I didn’t understand math whatsoever and received help also. I also went to Jody for several random questions. This group is always willing to help and make sure that us as college students know the right tips and have the right tools in order to be successful. I would describe OCAPICA to an outsider as a group of individuals who are all going to be successful, and I would describe the staff as role models. Every staff member has such helpful advice.”

Michelle, 2015 Scholar

“Being an OCAPICA Scholar has been such a helpful experience for me. It was so eye opening being able to connect with other students from both my high school and the high schools that I lived near and see how we all found successes in our own separate paths. It really gave me a new perspective on education, in that we all may end up at different institutions or study in different fields, but we will all still be able to find something to relate to with each other.

I’m actually very thankful for that too, because it made me more comfortable talking to students outside of my own campus who attend different colleges, keeping me in touch with the reality in that we are all not placed in this bubble once we step into college (whether we move to go to college or commute).  I’m also very glad I was introduced to the job/internship resources, as creating stuff like my LinkedIn ultimately was useful in the long run, as it made job and internship hunting a lot easier now that I’m part of a network online.

The OCAPICA Scholars Program, to many, might seem just like a scholarship with some extra steps in between and after. While the money has been a huge help in every way, it’s also an opportunity to really be introduced to your college’s resources and opportunities. To be realistic, when you enter college, you are too overwhelmed about attending social events, making new friends, trying new things, that you often blind yourself to some of the more important aspects about college, such as finding the resources to your major, mental health, and job preparation – things that OCAPICA really helps remind you about!”

Justin, 2015 Scholar

“First of all, I’d like to take this time to thank not only the OCAPICA organization itself but the friendly faces that make up such a great and diverse family. My experience with OCAPICA has been a great one! Some memories I will always be able to look back at and laugh was when we had a reunion at Modjeska Park and my group wrapped me up in toilet paper like a mummy. Aside from the silly games and helpful workshops, something that I will take away from this experience is the professional aspect that we learned through workshops and help from the advisors. That has greatly helped me take the next steps to gaining a great job and an amazing opportunity for a summer internship with Make-A-Wish. If I had to describe OCAPICA to a friend I wouldn’t just describe it as a scholarship that gives financial support but a family that is always there to help and push you to do great!”

Yocelyn, 2015 Scholar

“From OCAPICA I feel like it’s an experience to be mindful. We don’t really meet up at all, however, the workshops, and reflections that we are required to do is a moment for us to look at what we are doing and what we want to change. I really think that it helps me stay focus, and remind myself of my goals. As the school year pushes along, we are just so focused on keeping up on class and maybe work that we forgot about the big picture.

To someone that isn’t an OCAPICA scholar I would say that we are a network of people with different insights to help you towards your goals. We go over topics from time management, to leadership skills to budgeting and all of those qualities will help you get through college and life beyond that.”

Aisha, 2016 Scholar

“Over the past two years as an OCAPICA Scholar, I have developed essential life and professional skills while navigating college and becoming an adult. One of the most valuable skills that I will take from my experiences in the program is self-reflection. I learned to regularly check in with myself and to assess my feelings and emotions. I also reflect on my progress by celebrating accomplishments or learning from my mistakes. Through all the workshops and online activities, I have acquired important skills such as civic engagement, financial literacy, mindfulness, goal setting and professionalism. The program also enabled me the opportunity to connect with my peers after high school, learn from their experiences, and be inspired by their stories. The OCAPICA Scholars Program is that parent on the sidelines who cheers you on and welcomes you with open arms. Along with providing scholarships funds for educational purchases, the program offers several resources and opportunities to jump-start the college and adulthood journey. I am thankful for the rewarding experiences I had, and valuable lessons I learned, in the program.”

Nhan, 2015 Scholar 

“As an OCAPICA Scholar, my experience in the program gave me the support to become independent and unafraid to let my voice be heard. I have also been able to foster connections with people that have the same goals as me or have had more experience with college life than me. It has impacted my life by helping me in the process of being independent and understanding the idea of “adulting”, giving me the resources to understand things like self-care and getting a job. OCAPICA is a program where generations of people who have similar goals come together in helping the newest members start their journey after graduating high school.”

Aimee, 2016 Scholar

“As an OCAPICA Scholar I have experienced many things, and met many people, that I would have never expected to do myself. I became a part of a group of people who truly care about success and help me to know what needs to be done in order to be an essential piece to society, school and employers. Without OCAPICA Scholars I would never have learned as much as I have about my school. The workshops we have done have led me to now be a part of two programs at my school, hopefully three starting in the Spring semester when I apply for the Honors Society. I also now can see the importance of being a part of a club while I am attending college.

To an outsider I would describe the OCAPICA Scholars Program as a very well-educated family who will push you to want to better yourself. Through the workshops you learn skills that you never would have expected to learn elsewhere, or would never have asked about in the first place. They remind you of things you might have known in the past, but never used to your advantage in school or the workplace. The staff is always there to help you out and give you resources for anything that you need, even if it is not school related. Overall, like I said, this group is like having another family who is there to guide you and push you to be better—without all the normal family drama. OCAPICA Scholars is truly helpful to anyone who is ready to put in the work needed and do what they are advised in order to grow and succeed.”

Cheyenne, 2016 Scholar

“My experience as an OCAPICA Scholar has been something I’ve never been introduced to. I really never had a backup. More so, my family never went to college so although they tried, they didn’t really know how to help me with college.

OCAPICA was there if I needed any help. I learned to ask for help if I needed it. I learned professionalism and how to communicate with others. And even simple things such as learning how to relax when needed. This helped me a lot because I was absolute dying in finals. It was nice to learn how to calm down my anxiety attacks. OCAPICA made me feel normal for feeling the way I felt. And I didn’t feel alone. I knew I always had people there for me and that I wasn’t the only one having panic attacks during finals.

I would describe the OCAPICA Scholars Program as a group of people who are just there for you. A program where you can email them about anything and where they make sure you know that you are not alone. I am very thankful and grateful for this program. Thank you for helping me survive my first year of college.”

Alyssa, 2016 Scholar

“Being an OCAPICA Scholar had definitely helped me stay motivated knowing there is a group of students that are striving through their college years too. It’s definitely impacted my like in a positive way because I was able to learn from my own and others mistakes and support one another. If you’re not a scholar thinking about what being an OCAPICA Scholar is like well picture this…. It’s a group of students your age that are headed for the same goal you are which is to be successful and with that you get to interact with one another and have each other for support. College is a BIG next step after high school and changes are different you become different especially socially, but for two years you have a support group journeying with you for those two years so your not alone they’re not strangers, they’re the people you can turn to when your too shy or nervous to ask yourself. See for yourself and you’ll know what it’s like to always feel like when you have no one you have OCAPICA. Cheers.”

Karen, 2015 Scholar

“My experiences at OCAPICA has been amazing, and it’s sad to slowly depart as the year closes. What OCAPICA has taught me included various things, such as professionalism, time management, avoiding stress, and being mentally healthy. A lot of these topics can be very underrated in society, but are extremely crucial for one’s success, which is why I can’t thank OCAPICA  enough for hosting workshops to improve. I have already applied these skills to my everyday life, and is making me grow as a person.

I love to tell others that I am a part of the OCAPICA Scholars cohort. When approaching the question of what OCAPICA Scholars is, I reply saying that the program, besides rewarding students with a scholarship, is making sure that the students continue with their success in their college affairs as well as their professional careers. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this fantastic program.”

Eric, 2015 Scholar

“As a first year scholar in the program, my experience has been overall positive and welcoming in many ways. I’ve formed new friendships and obtained mentors that advised me through my first year in college. What I can take away from my experience so far is the small lessons of life that were the basis of the many of the workshops. As well as the need to help aid the incoming first year students because not to long ago I was in their position.
OCAPICA has impacted my life in such a good way that I can honestly say that it has shaped me into the person I am today. During the beginning of my first semester, and even during the summer, I was going through an emotionally and mentally draining time that made me lose all hope in my dreams and aspirations. I feel like OCAPICA Scholars helped push me out of that hole that I dug myself into. It revived many of my old dreams that I held close to my heart and gave me that strength to strive in school once again.
The way I would explain OCAPICA Scholars to an outsider would be that it is a family. A diverse family of striving college and university students that help and support one other achieve not only their career goals and life goals, OCAPICA Scholars is a gem that has helped provided students with funds for their books, food, tuition, and other school supplies. I am so very blessed to be part of this program.”

Guadalupe, 2016 Scholar

“The best part about being an OCAPICA Scholar is that I got to keep in touch with some people I have not seen since high school. Through the program, I also learned ways to relieve stress as well as diverse life skills like financial literacy, resume techniques, and ways to relieve stress. Above all, I am so thankful for the people in charge of the program like Kassie who is just an awesome person overall.

If I had to describe the OCAPICA Scholars program in one world, it would be SUPPORT. It is nice to have some kind of educational support back home especially since I go to school far away. One time, I had trouble with time management, and someone from the program advised me about downloading an app to help. Actually, this did help me a lot even though I totally ignored the app sometimes. Every time I would exit out of the app, my phone would vibrate and it would ask me like “are you sure?”. It would guilt trip me sigh. There were days it worked and others when it did not, but it was way better to have the app than not have it. This is just one of the many examples the program has helped me. It also taught me that is okay to not be okay. It is okay to have questions and be lost because you just have to find the answer. Thus, OCAPICA was a great resource to have during the last two years.”

Hannah, 2015 Scholar 

“Through my experiences in the OCAPICA Scholars program for the 2016–17 term, I have learned many things that will prove useful in my future. One thing that I will take away from this program is that there are always important concepts and skills to learn, no matter how skilled one may perceive of oneself. OCAPICA has placed roots into my first year in college, allowing me to reach upwards and acquire these skills I probably would not have learned so early otherwise. From networking to self-care, the knowledge I have now has been supported through the components of the program.

My interactions so far at UCLA have been ameliorated thanks to the many ideas OCAPICA stressed to its scholars. Of course, it is not necessarily in this manner that I would describe the program; OCAPICA Scholars opens the eyes of individuals as they swim through the dark waters that is college. OCAPICA allows us to see the resources at hand that we should be using to assist in our personal successes. Through this, I feel like I have moved from the moon to the stars, creating more concrete goals for myself and making better efforts to achieve them.”

Braden, 2016 Scholar

“As an OCAPICA Scholar, I got to learn so much from workshops that I would not learn in a classroom setting at UCLA. The TED talks videos that were offered to us about confidence left a lasting impression on me, especially since I feel like I’ve been struggling with low self-esteem more than ever. I even used some ideas in a development on self-esteem that I presented for my internship. I am greatly appreciative towards the extra support OCAPICA offers.

I would describe the OCAPICA Scholars program to an outsider as a support system that guides students who are new to the college experience. Overall, I’m glad I entered college with the support of OCAPICA, it definitely made the experience less frightening as I always knew I had someone to ask if I felt lost or even that I had someone checking up on me; I am truly grateful.”

Alondra, 2016 Scholar

“The OCAPICA staff have always been very supportive and always let us know that they were there for us and I feel it is important to have people like this during the early college years. It’s nice to know that there’s someone who you can turn to when you have any sort of problem. It’s also helpful to have someone monitoring your progress as you go on in college. Without supervision, I can see how people may not give it their all. OCAPICA has changed the way I went about school. Now and then we’d have these types of reflections and they’d help me recollect what I had learned and how I can use what I’d learned and apply it to whatever it may be that I do next. OCAPICA really is more than just a scholarship, it is a program filled with people who are willing to help you to the point, and along the way you start figuring out ways that you can help yourself.”

Marco, 2015 Scholar

“Being an OCAPICA Scholar has been an honor, especially knowing that this is the final year of the program, which makes me more grateful to have the chance to be the program that future students might not experience. The OCAPICA program has made sure in not only in school, but I am taking the steps in order to pursue my career. To an outsider I would describe OCAPICA as a Program to motivate high school students to graduate high school and go to a college or University that will help them become successful. OCAPICA has motivated me to stay a healthy lifestyle by giving me advice on how to not be overwhelmed by school, but enjoy it by being a part of a club and other extra curricular activities. Moreover, OCAPICA has given me mentors who push me enough to pursue my education, and I know I wouldn’t have accomplished as much today.”

David, 2015 Scholar

“There are many things I take away from being an OCAPICA Scholar and the one thing that was the most beneficial was getting the financial assistance that I needed. I never thought I would be able to attend college, however, with the help of OCAPICA it made it easier to and less stressful knowing that I would have their help with anything.

I take so much away from being a Scholar, I learned so much about being a more open person and how to prepare for future interviews and jobs. When problems rise they have an open office where anyone can go and speak to them about any issue.

If an outsider were to ask me about this program I would clarify how amazing the people are and how social everyone can be from the very first day that you meet. So many people and so many stories that come from each one about both their personal and college lives brings everyone together.

This program has impacted my life by giving me the opportunity to attend college. Given this opportunity it has allowed me to pursue my passion in the Administration of Justice field and further my education to be that much closer to my goals and begin my career. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the OCAPICA Scholars Program and to have the chance to be able to attend the college that I have been wanting to go to.”

Antonio, 2015 Scholar

“My experience in the OCAPICA program really helped with what comes after high school. There is so much that I learned from this program that I can use in the outside world. Their workshops were very meaningful and not only focused on school but the outside world as well. It has impacted my life because it has helped me learned a lot of tools that I will be able to use in the future. Describing OCAPICA would be like a support system but also a guidance to help those first entering college. College can be scary but having a support system to help you through the journey can help make it less scary.”

Grisell, 2015 Scholar

“I think OCAPICA has impacted me by showing the amount of support and help people are willing to offer you within your college experience, and it’s not something you should take for granted. I’d describe the OCAPICA program to people outside as something you’d want to include yourself in for as long as you can, because overtime you grow close with the advisors and people. Some advice I’d like to share to future college students is to not overwhelm yourself the first year. You learn to practically rely on yourself mainly in a majority of classes, I also HIGHLY recommend study groups, and DO NOT take any of your campus resources for granted. Also, get to know your tutors if your campus offers an on campus learning center or tutoring center, you could possibly get extra help with assignments, and which professors to choose.”

Andrearose, 2016 Scholar

“I understood the importance of self-care, but only preached it to others who I thought needed to provide more care to themselves. I had thought I was doing okay because I always thought my personal problems were problems that could easily be ignored since other people I knew seemed to be going through much worse. Once I became a member of OCAPICA Scholars, I was given respect, kindness, and the support I needed to overcome the problems I set aside. The program encouraged friendly interaction with all members of OCAPICA and communication with groupmates to check up on overall wellness. These activities were mandatory for all Scholars, but it was truly helpful because we all got to share our experiences with college hardships together and develop a great support system.

To an outsider, I would describe the OCAPICA Scholars Program as a friendly organization whose best interests are to provide you with a stable future while easing any tensions and negative mentality associated with entering or attending college. OCAPICA is a program I will always remember because of their efforts in communicating with every individual scholar. In the middle of my college year, I was hit hard by my difficulty transitioning into college and felt alone because I realized that the image of my future had changed greatly and I was solely responsible for that change. However, OCAPICA reached out and asked me, “how are you doing? How is college for you so far?” It may have been a simple check in but just knowing that they put effort into messaging me individually to ask for my experience meant a lot to me at the time.”

Anonymous, 2016 Scholar

“To those unaware of the OCAPICA scholars program, I would describe this opportunity as true and honestly impactful. Unlike other scholarships where one submits a one-time application with an essay or reference, OCAPICA works with students consistently. A scholarship is not just rewarded, but so are personal and professional lessons that new students may find difficulty having access to. I cannot express how grateful I am to be a part of the 2016 cohort and work with the OCAPICA staff and fellow recipients. I know the long hours and dedication that the staff invested with the program to ensure us students are receiving the best and most helpful resources.”

Diana, 2016 Scholar

“OCAPICA is so fun! The only friends I have left from high school are the same people I get to share this wonderful experience with. A little dark, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have learned and grown so much from being a part of the program as it didn’t just help me learn, but it has taught me how to teach myself. The never-ending support from the programs affiliates and members make it especially rewarding as I know that no matter where I am in life, I will always have a friend to count on. The term, “you get what you put in” really strikes home with me as the effort and time will be multiplied several times through what you learn and how to apply it. For example, there have been workshops regarding financial responsibilities, to mental health, and even food. Yes, FREE FOOD! I have been humbled by my experiences and don’t plan on letting go of the connections I’ve built because they mean so much to me.” –Kelvin, 2014 Scholar

“OCAPICA Scholar means you are more than a college student you are a scholar student that fulfills achievement. I can say over my whole experience in the 2014 OCAPICA program  I have changed into a student that would like to pursue more and understand that it is important to receive help with my studies financially simply by being a Scholar student.

The OCAPICA Scholar program is a program that encourages students to focus on their studies by achieving more outside of their academics. It is one of the most diverse yet friendly environment to be associated with while in college.”- Briana, 2014 Scholar

“From my two years as an OCAPICA scholar, I learned that ultimately, you are responsible for your college experience. Your college experience depends on the amount of effort you put into it. There are always clubs for you to join, researches for you to participate in, and knowledge for you to gain. If you’re not willing to put yourself out there, then you’re not really getting anything out of your college years.

In my life, this has taught me to step outside of my comfort zone and participate in things I normally wouldn’t. Thanks to OCAPICA, I was able to go outside of my campus and find a volunteer opportunity that could potentially help me in the future. I was able to volunteer as an optometric technician. Thanks to OCAPICA, I now work as an optometric medical records clerk. Without OCAPICA, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

The monthly meetings helped us manage our time, our money, and how to get the most out of college. However, it was more than that. It taught us to be a participating member of our community. It was also a way for us to catch up with our peers. By listening to and understanding each other’s struggles, we were provided with a sense of belonging – that we are not in this alone.”- Tran, 2014 Scholar

“From OCAPICA I am taking a huge group of people that I know I can count on or ask questions about anything, also many great advice and lessons that I have learned. OCAPICA has impacted my life greatly in a positive way I have learned many things like manage my time, to get involved, to share my stories, and many more.

The way that I would describe OCAPICA to someone else it would be that it is very helpful, rich in workshops that help us get adjusted to the college life and life in general, a support group, a great experience.”-Alicia,  2014 Scholar 

“The program has a positive impact in my life, overall. It has shaped me into who I am today, a better-equipped person academically and socially. For an outsider of this program, I would tell the person that this is not only a peer mentor group, but also a family who support individuals to become the best that they can be.”
Danthu, 2014 Scholar

“The OCAPICA Scholars Program has considerably expanded my professional and academic lens in various aspects. From learning key principles to surviving college, such as time management, to understanding career fundamentals, like how to obtain and sustain a professional online presence, the program showed me how to juggle every dimension of my life in harmony. This program has encouraged me to become culturally aware, transcend my comfort zone, and challenge myself in my academic journey. Essentially, this program has been a blessing for me.”- Jesse, 2014 Scholar 

“As I look back on my time in OCAPICA, I didn’t really think much about it nor the impact this program has made on me, but now as I realize that this will be our last meeting altogether, I can’t help but think of all the things I’ll miss being in the 2014 Cohort. Because personally for me, I’ll miss seeing you all every month and knowing what you’ve been up to, I’ll miss jumping up and hugging each other when we are all reunited, and I’ll even miss all those emails we get about the reminders/assignments we need to do. I’ll miss it all because for me, OCAPICA wasn’t just a scholarship for me, but you were also my family. The family that encouraged me and helped me grow. You are the family that continues to inspire me as I hear about all your achievements. Even if this is the end of our program, I hope that somehow, we manage to keep in touch, some way or another.”
-Rochelle, 2014 Scholar 

“Along with the scholarship, they never left us alone. And I say that in a good way. They would send us reminders that they were still there to help us out throughout our college experience, whether it was through workshops, phone calls, or video chats, they reminded us that they were there with us, whether it was financial-wise, career-wise, health-wise and socially. They would email us with many opportunities whether it was for jobs or scholarships or family gatherings. In one of the gatherings that I attended, I realized that they extended far beyond what I imagined and helped many others in need as well.

To those who do not know what OCAPICA is, the Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance is a second family that took care of me and many others, it is a family that reaches out a helping hand to enhance the lives of many others and provide them with a positive approach in life, whether it is through education, workforce, health, or financial. They are a family that keeps growing bigger and influence a whole community and I am proud to say that I am an OCAPICA Scholar.” –Hana, 2014 Scholar

“Being an OCAPICA Scholar was a great opportunity. The program has helped me not only financially, but has provided me support, resources, and the opportunity to grow alongside my OCAPICA family and achieve my goals.” –Alysha, 2013 Scholar

“I am so grateful for being part of the 2013 OCAPICA Scholars Cohort because many of my friends are in there, and for the meetings, I felt like it was high school all over again, and being in my second year, I know it isn’t going to happen again. So thank you OCAPICA for giving me this humbling opportunity to learn from your scholars program and bond with this cohort.” –Laura, 2013 Scholar 

“I gained a great amount of knowledge while I was in the OCAPICA scholars program; knowledge about networking, different career paths, internships, and about utilizing resources that will give me the tools to help us succeed. Not only did I learn a great deal from Kassie and Jody, I learned a great deal from my fellow scholars. They taught me lessons about perseverance and that I am not alone; there are other students out there struggling to fill up that last page for that one essay and studying all night, and sharing this experience with them was an honor.

The scholars program encouraged and motivated me to be a part of clubs such as the Psychology Student Association, Rotaract Club, and even the Anime Club. The program also inspired me to apply for a volunteer opportunity at a place called Ability First, where I work with children and adults who have disabilities.” –Viridiana, 2013 Scholar 

“OCAPICA has truly been a blessing and a wonderful experience. You get to experience and learn many different things, and for some people they have to step out of their comfort zone and grow as a person. The lessons are valuable and can be taken into the real world once you are out of school. The staff are always there for you and you can always go to them if you need any help. OCAPICA is another support system for me, and I’m glad I got to be a part of this organization.”– Justin, 2012 Scholar

“I have been with the OCAPICA program for 2 years and I am genuinely grateful to them for all they have done. Not only did they provide financial aid but also they gave me tools and advice to be successful in school. I enjoyed all of the workshops that dealt with finances because coming from a single parent household the information was quite valuable. They helped reinforce my opinions about extracurricular activities and the importance they have in college connections. They gave me the inspiration I needed to join clubs and become involved.”– Daisy, 2012 Scholar

“Because of OCAPICA, the transition from high school into college was almost seamless, so easy that I didn’t know why I was worrying about college life in the first place. And then I was introduced to term papers and all-essay exams. Yeah, that was a fantastic revelation. It meant that I needed to find better studying habits, but of course, OCAPICA helped me with that, along with time and money management, stress relief, social involvement in school, and reminders to sleep a healthy amount of hours while you’re at it.We all have the potential to be the best of ourselves. OCAPICA encourages and inspires us to do so.”
– Priscilla, 2012 Scholar

“OCAPICA is a Community.

College thus far has been a different experience than high school. Attending a commuter school has made it difficult to form a new community among my new class mates. However, I know that I am not alone because I always have the scholar program to lean back on.If it were not for the OCAPICA Scholars program, I do not know if I would have been as prepared for college. We may not speak every day and our interactions may be few now that we have all gone our separate ways, but that common bond that we all developed throughout the program has not gone away. This group is something I truly cherish.”
– Sandra, 2012 Scholar

“I always knew I wanted to go to college because that’s how I was brought up; you go to college and you become successful. That’s the only way out. I knew I wanted to go to college but I didn’t know exactly how to do that. OCAPICA opened up so many doors for me and helped me grow as a person as well. I didn’t know what to expect, I just thought “oh great I have to stay after school” but I gained knowledge, wisdom, and had a great time. I’m thankful for the mentors that spoke to us with respect and not as children. I’m forever thankful for OCAPICA and I have no words to express my gratitude enough. I was immensely blessed to have been chosen to be in OCAPICA. And I know the whole college experience is different for everyone but you just have to keep in mind that the struggle is only temporary and if it weren’t for our amazing mentors we wouldn’t be where we are today.” – Juliana, 2012 Scholar

“College. A word that transpires through the minds of young adolescents that flickers on and off as they prepare for something so crucial during their lives. Many are waiting in anticipation with anxiety while others are ecstatic for this journey to unfold. No matter the difficulty or joy it may bring into their life, it is certainly an event that is influential to their proclaimed future and self-identity. No matter the places and paths one may follow, college is universal as it paves many opportunities and acts as an outlet where one is able to eventually discover themselves and evolve with such a mindset. Ultimately, it up to them to initiate and put forward their own effort to guarantee an unforgettable experience. College is like a two way street. What you make and put into it, is what you will eventually gain and receive from it.With the OCAPICA program in particular, it acted as a transitional bridge from my high school into my college years. With guidance and mentor-ship from the scholarship program, I was able to make that transition much more smoother as OCAPICA provided the necessary resources and advice to do so. OCAPICA was basically like a second mother to me that helped me mature and develop into a more knowledgeable and well-rounded person. In the end, I will not forget this program as I consider it as one of the major stepping stones during my lifetime.”
– Phong , 2012 Scholar

“Being an OCAPICA Scholar was a great privilege, not only did the program help me financially but it provided me with various resources that helped me achieve my goals.”
– Briana, 2012 Scholar

“Reflecting on my time with OCAPICA has really made me realize how incredible it is how much I’ve changed ever since I first walked up the stairs in the Ocapica building. I remember walking in at the age of 14 thinking I knew everything about what I wanted to do and how I was going to achieve my goals, but left realizing I had a lot of work to do if I want to answer my biggest questions.”– Henry, 2012 Scholar

“Beginning my college career has definitely been one of the most complex and yet liberating time in my life, I would not have been able to be so self motivated without OCAPICA. The scholarship aid itself encouraged me to take my studies seriously and reminded me to never give up with our monthly workshops during the school year. It was nice being able to comfort everyone and know that during hard and difficult times like midterms and finals that everyone was on the same boat and I wasn’t alone. I am proud to be an OCAPICA Scholar.”-Sharon, 2012 Scholar

“I came into this program very skeptical. I felt like at first maybe this program was just trying to get me on a route where all the “perfect” college students go the same road and graduate the same way. It absolutely was not that, but instead, OCAPICA was my guidance. The scholars that I have formed friendships with also have changed my life as well. We were all there for each other despite our different backgrounds, schools, and dreams. I always looked forward to going to workshops because it was my opportunity to see a glimpse of everyone’s road to success and I could not be any more happier when I see the smile on their faces when they share the good news. We were there for each other when we were upset and our mentors were there for us physically and emotionally. I’ve grown really attached to this program that it is my second home.”– Christina, 2012 Scholar