Conferences Keep High School Students Focused on College Options

More than 1,000 high school students had the opportunity to explore college options and learn about Fullerton College programs and services during the month of January when EOPS (Extended Opportunity Program & Services) and High School Outreach offices hosted their annual conferences on campus.

The 41st EOPS College Preparation Conference on Jan. 9 focused on encouraging high school seniors from local school districts to explore Fullerton College programs, while the 5th annual MAS Conference held on Jan. 19 promoted self-development and career education to 9-12th grade male students.

Both conferences featured a variety of workshops, guest speakers, student panels, and keynote speakers who each focused their presentations on higher education.

“Sometimes high school students just need a little encouragement from someone who has walked in similar shoes, faced adversities, struggled through finding their identity and purpose, but has overcome those challenges in their pursuit of higher education,” said EOPS Director Sonia Duran. “This year’s EOPS conference keynote speaker did just that.”

Fullerton College alumnus and EOPS Conference keynote speaker, Yadira De La Cruz shared her story growing up as a Latina in Westminster, becoming pregnant at a young age, and her journey from high school to college where she earned multiple associate degrees at Fullerton College, a bachelor’s degree from UC Davis, and a master’s degree from Bard College, all while raising her two children as a single mother and finding her identity.

With a little sarcasm and humor, De La Cruz connected with the audience of high schoolers in the crowd encouraging them with her simple truth – it’s okay to not have it all figured out. “Oftentimes we get these pressures from society that tell us we need to figure out what we want to do when we grow up. Well, I’m here to tell you, I’m 38 years old and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up,” she said.

In addition to motivational speakers, the conference provided students with the opportunity to take SuperStrong®, a career assessment tool used by Fullerton College Career Life and Planning Center to help students identify career interests, majors, and related programs. High school students were also able to complete the Fullerton College and EOPS applications and had the opportunity to hear from current EOPS/CARE, CalWORKs, Foster Youth and Promise students about their experiences and challenges.

The MAS Conference also held workshops on career programs and college readiness.

“The MAS Conference is always a day of growth for our students,” tweeted @MrsLavrov, Counselor at Western High School.

Both conferences were attended by students in the top feeder high school districts around Fullerton College including Anaheim Union and Fullerton Joint Union.

To learn more about EOPS visit

Author: Jazmin

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