Thinking Responsibly

On January 25th a group of 154 high school students from the Boyle Heights/East L.A. area received an introduction to life at CMC thanks to, a not-for-profit founded by alums Stuart Felkner ’10 and Anton Grant ’07.
Concerned about the dwindling resources available for public school teachers to provide their students with enriching experiences, Felkner and Grant founded Responsibly to connect teachers to their community through funding educational experiences that bring learning to life experiences like field trips, science experiments, the arts and technology in the classroom.
Felkner said the trip to CMC for the students from Oscar De La Hoya Animo Charter High School was posted on by a counselor at the high school who wanted to expose her students to a college that they wouldn’t usually hear about. Ninety-nine percent of the students from ODLHA receive free or reduced lunch, and all of the visiting students were Hispanic. The $1,200 cost of the trip was funded by 26 donors all of which were CMC alumni or current students.
Felkner said the students at Oscar de la Hoya Animo (ODLHA) are encouraged and expected to attend college, but are typically exposed to larger schools such as UCLA and USC. Many students haven’t traveled outside of their neighborhood and are nervous about leaving their families for a campus 45 miles away. He said the visit to CMC allowed students to experience a college with the small class sizes and family atmosphere that they have become used to in high school, and showed that they can fit in at CMC.
The visiting students were all freshmen and sophomores, in an effort to get students excited about the college process early in their high school careers. It was the largest group of students on a college visit ever organized by ODLHA.
“They are now in a position where they can do something about getting the right grades and getting ready for the application process,” Felkner said.
The students from ODLHA toured the CMC campus, visited dorm rooms, the Athenaeum, heard a diverse panel of eight Claremont students speak about college life at CMC, and capped off their visit with a barbeque on Green Beach.
Felkner said the barbeque was a highlight for the high school students. “Their school is all asphalt they don’t have any greenery or any place to just throw a football around,” he said.
CMC students, led by Nick Wright ’12, helped coordinate the campus visit and the panel. Students involved in the panel Wright, Carolyn Nyce ’13, Hillary Lundberg, Angel Quicksey, Monique Nguyen, Carolyn Lasch (Scripps), and Vaishali Ravi (Scripps). Felkner said he had additional help from Ari Wes ’12, Mike Lapadot ’13, and Demetrius Lalanne ’16.
Felkner said fifty CMC students also donated their lunch cards to help feed the students during their visit.
The feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive. “One girl came up and said this is where I want to go to school now I want to go to CMC’,” Felker said. “It was a place she had never thought of before.”
Felkner added that when he followed up with the students one week after their visit, one girl told him, “I can’t wait to go to college.”