Originally known as CA DREAMers: Empowered and Educated, the Grads to Be (G2B) Program emerged at Fullerton College during the 2015 – 2016 academic year through advocacy efforts from students and key people across student services. Early on G2B focused on providing undocumented and AB540 students’ academic advising sessions, scholarship book cards, and emergency funding along with hosting its first AB540 conference in the 2016 spring semester. These services became available through student equity funding aimed to close the achievement gap for historically underrepresented students.
In 2018, a Catalyst Fund grant proposal through Immigrants Rising was submitted at the district level by various staff members from Cypress, Fullerton, and NOCE to expand services. This catalyst fund is a multi-million-dollar, three-year grantmaking initiative to expand support for undocumented students and their families across the state’s three-tier public higher education systems: California Community Colleges, California State University, and the University of California. The district proposal aimed to create programs geared to support undocumented students at Fullerton College, Cypress College, and the North Orange Continuation Education Anaheim campus as well as the community. Key programs included providing legal support and mental health services.
During the spring semester of 2019, the district-wide Catalyst Fund Grant Proposal was awarded. Through the grant, the program has been able to hire staff to provide advising and counseling support as well as develop tailored services that include the Undocumented Student Week of Action, legal aid, mentorship, academic advising, mental health advising, financial support and more.