Low-Income Students Thrive in Elite Summer Program

During the school year, Arily Velasco's family can't afford Campbell Hall's more-than-$30,000 tuition, but this summer she's getting the private school treatment for free

For Arily Velasco, elite private school Campbell Hall is like a different world.

Unlike the low-income public school she attends during the academic year, Campbell Hall in Studio City provides students with individual attention, small class sizes and brand-new laptops.

Although Velasco's family cannot afford its more-than-$30,000 tuition during the school year, she's getting the private school treatment this summer for free.

Velasco is part of the Campbell Scholars Program, which brings the best and the brightest from nearby low-income public schools to Campbell Hall for a high-quality college prep summer program.

"It's an amazing opportunity and i wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world," said Angel Santiago, one of the scholars. "I thought 'Wow, I'm going to something really special and there are going to be a lot of people just like me with my same passion.'"

The kids in the program share a love for learning and an aspiration to be the first in their families to go to college.

The resources and support offered through the program are meant to encourage these passions and help the students reach for new opportunities.

"I want them to feel like they are empowered to fulfill whatever destiny they have for themselves or any ambition or dream," said John Rue, the founder of the program.

Beyond academics, those involved with the program say that it helps students and teachers alike to learn valuable lessons and to build relationships while bridging an educational divide.

"That's really what we're doing here, getting out of our comfort zone and doing what we want to do without any judgment" Santiago said.

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