Local student earns spot at national leadership summit

Chancellor Blumenthal and Watsonville High student Mayra Bernabe (Photo: Dan Coyro, Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Mayra Bernabe, a junior at Watsonville High School, has been selected to attend the 7th Annual National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) Youth Leadership Summit in San Francisco the week of July 18-22.

Bernabe is one of only 30 students selected nationally to be a first-time attendee at the Summit. All participants in the National Youth Leadership Summit are students from schools served by Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a federal program designed to increase the number of low-income youth who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Students are selected in a competitive application process based on their academic achievement, leadership experience, essay, and letters of recommendation.

Over the course of the Summit, students work collectively to create a report focused on what educators should consider when designing strategies and programs aimed at improving student achievement; as well as help business and community leaders, policy makers, and educators understand the issues that students believe to be important for improving student success and strengthening the education system as a whole. The culmination of the Summit is the students' presentation of the report to the over 2,000 attendees of the NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual Conference.

Bernabe is ranked seven in her class of 561 students and is enrolled in rigorous courses such as honors chemistry, accelerated English, the math academy and advanced algebra and trigonometry. Since the eighth grade she has been very involved in her community and has participated in the Summer Youth Leadership Conference held at UC Santa Cruz for the past two years.

Mayra Bernabe is a participant in the UCSC Educational Partnership Center GEAR UP program. In collaboration with schools and districts in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, the Educational Partnership Center is implementing three GEAR UP partnership programs to build college-bound communities through academic preparation and increased awareness about college-going pathways.

For more information about NCCEP, GEAR UP and the Youth Leadership Summit, please visit www.edpartnerships.org or contact NCCEP at 202-530-1135.

For more information about UC Santa Cruz Educational Partnership Center, please contact Maria Rocha-Ruiz at 831-212-1732.


NCCEP maintains offices in Washington, DC, and Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and leads education reform efforts in both countries. NCCEP works with education partnerships funded by the U.S. federal government, the government of Mexico, public and private foundations, and corporations from both the United States and Mexico. For more information about NCCEP, please visit www.edpartnerships.org.

About Educational Partnership Center

Established in 1999, the Educational Partnership Center (EPC) coordinates academic preparation efforts on behalf of UC Santa Cruz with the goal of increasing access and opportunity to higher education for students across the Monterey Bay and San Jose/Silicon Valley regions. EPC is a research- and data-driven, umbrella organization for an array of integrated programs, serving students, teachers, families, and schools from kindergarten through college. The mission of the Educational Partnership Center is to create college-bound communities that improve student learning and increase college-going rates among students from low-income and traditionally non-college-going families in collaboration with school, college, business, and community partners. In January 2009, EPC celebrated its 10th anniversary.