#CYPossibilities: Lissette Figueroa, NorCal College Tour

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Cypress College Puente, Legacy, and Honors program students had the opportunity to go on a three-day Northern California college tour last Thursday, April 20 to Saturday, April 22. The trip helped to familiarize them with other colleges in the state, as well as inspire them to consider transfer colleges not just based on proximity to home. The students visited four Central and Northern California public university campuses—the University of California, Santa Barbara; San Jose State University; the University of California, Davis; and the University of California, Berkeley—and the California State Capitol on a trip that also gave them the opportunity to see and experience other parts of the state.

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Lissette Figueroa, Puente Program Class 21
Nursing major
Plans to transfer to a UC or CSU after graduating from Cypress College

I never imagined myself in college because I grew up in a home where it was not talked about. In high school, all I thought about was graduating because that meant no more school ever. Once I graduated, it was time to think about getting a job. It all sounded amazing until I had to grow up quickly and realized just how tough life is.

Cypress College was an obvious choice simply because it was near my home. I did not know how wonderful this school would be. One day, a few Puentistas came into my English class recruiting students to join the Puente Program. It was only my second semester in college and they spoke about the aid Puente provides for students who are unaware of what they are going to do after they graduate from Cypress College. I never thought about what came after college, so I knew I had to be part of Puente.

My life plans changed from just graduating from Cypress to transferring because Puente took us on trips to visit many different colleges in both Southern and Northern California. After visiting a few colleges, I learned that there were more options than just attending a school based on the commute from home. Before going on the college tours, I was set on attending UCLA; California State University, Long Beach; or the University of California, Riverside based on the short distance from home and because they offer nursing, the field I plan to go into.

Last week, we went up north and visited four colleges. I fell in love with the University of California, Davis and San Jose State University. The scenery is beautiful on both campuses and they felt just like home even though I was seven hours away from where I live. Visiting these campuses not only motivates me, but made me question why I did not go to college sooner.

Opportunities do not always happen, so if given the chance to be part of something great, take advantage of it and, as Puente students would say, “Si se puede!”