SAN LUIS OBISPO — Peoples’ Self-Help Housing’s (PSHH) has received a generous $20,000 boost from Bank of America to support low-income Latina students in their dreams of higher education.

“Education is a key building block for a successful future,” said Ken Trigueiro, PSHH CEO and President. “Thanks to this visionary support from Bank of America, the CELEBRE program provides young women and girls the tools and resources to not only reach higher education, but to thrive from it.”

CELEBRE students visit UC San Diego during their annual college tours. Photo courtesy of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing

The College Enrollment for Latinas Entering Bright Rewarding Educations (CELEBRE) is an extension of PSHH’s College Club. This site-based educational program equips students with the skills and knowledge to attend a higher education institution. In addition to College Club’s general support helping students apply for school admission and financial aid, CELEBRE empowers low-income Latinas to overcome gender inequities and stereotypes that may prevent them from succeeding in higher education. 

At the start of the pandemic, PSHH quickly pivoted its educational program by providing distance learning for students and critical tools to help like Chromebooks and WiFi hotspots. When many college students returned home after their colleges turned to remote learning, PSHH’s CELEBRE program helped them complete their semesters from home. The program grew from teaching 300 students a day to teaching 600 students a day. Peoples’ Self Help Housing will use the Bank of America grant to continue and further expand this vital program in the upcoming year. 

“The pandemic has exposed tremendous disparities in health and economic impact for communities of color, so targeted programs like CELEBRE that helps underserved Latina students achieve academic success can go a long way to help address some of the inequalities that may be barriers to success,” said Greg Bland, Bank of America market president for San Luis Obispo.  

Available to students of all ages, the education program is currently offered at 10 on-site learning centers at PSHH properties throughout the Central Coast. 

The year-round after-school program’s primary focus is to advance the math and literacy levels of our students. In addition to the academic focus, PSHH also provides students with enrichment opportunities such as day camps, excursions, and field trips during seasonal breaks.

For high schoolers, the College Club provides support and guidance from application through graduation. For more information on Camino Scholars, visit pshhc.org.

Getting through this together, Atascadero