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JOYA Scholars

JOYA Scholars

Our mission is to inspire and prepare students from families of low-income communities in Fullerton
to succeed through higher education.  Breaking the cycle of poverty one student at a time.  This is the mission of JOYA Scholars. And education is the key.

The Garnet Neighborhood in the City of Fullerton, CA is made up of five small blocks where more than 1,200 low-income children from working class immigrant families make their home. This neighborhood, in the middle of one of the wealthiest counties in the country, was marked by one startling statistic: There had been no college graduates to emerge from the Garnet Neighborhood in over a decade.


In 2014, JOYA Scholar Valeria Sosa became Garnet’s first college graduate, completing a bachelor’s degree in political science from Chapman University in just three years. She is currently attending Western State College of Law.

When JOYA Scholars began in 2009, not a single high school student from Garnet aside from Valeria was eligible for a four-year university. Today, there are students enrolled at University of California Irvine, University of California Riverside, and California State University Fullerton. Even more students from the program attend local colleges planning to transfer to four-year universities.

By supporting students through one-on-one mentoring, academic tutoring, educational workshops, parent academy, campus visits, SAT prep, JOYA Scholars comes alongside junior high and high school students

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