“YPI isn’t only present here in the school, it’s actually affecting our households. My nephews want to go to college now, too.”

For most of his childhood, Christian lived with his family in a house near LAX with no electricity or gas. He recalls being bullied through middle school about the color of his skin, and his family working to make ends meet. Freshman year of high school, Christian and his father were waking up at 5 a.m. every day to catch the bus to school. On those mornings, his father insisted that Christian create a better life for himself.

Christian worked hard in school and set a goal to attend college. Now a senior at STEM Academy of Hollywood, Christian has completed a series of college-prep programs with YPI, and in March was accepted to UCLA, ranked #8 in the world by U.S. News and World Report. He will be the first in his family to attend a four-year university. “Now I feel welcomed everywhere. [People] see that I’m part of the better world, as well. They’re not the only ones who can get an education or make money or have fun.” Christian’s career goal is to be an Anesthesiologist. While in school, he plays the clarinet and contrabass, and teaches music to fellow students at STEM Academy.

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