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Cohort 12 Group Picture

Welcome Orientation

On December 13th, College Connect welcomed Cohort 12 to the Mission Graduates family. College Connect is a family-based college access and success program that works with 25 4-year college-bound high school juniors living, or attending school, in the Mission and Excelsior Districts of San Francisco who will be the first in their family to attend college.

Welcome Orientation allows for the new cohort to become familiar with College Connect, begin community building among each other, and meet College Connect alumni who have successfully completed the program. Cohort 11 was present to help students sign-in, greet families, and answer any questions students may have. They remember being in their place a year ago, nervous and excited to become part of College Connect.


Catherine Marroquin, College Connect Director, led the transition to workshop circles. College Connect places higher education for first-generation and students of color in the context of educational equity and social justice.  Through workshops, mentorship, and community building, students view their education as a means to bring positive change to their own communities. This workshop circle is the first of many students will critically engage with during their time as Cohort 12.



Students were asked to invite their families to orientation, as a family-based program College Connect emphasizes parent engagement. The College Connect program is not just for our 25 students, but for their entire family network.

College Connect Team

First-generation students who will be the first to attend college face a plethora of challenges and barriers than traditional students. Our College Connect Team were all first-generation students themselves, bringing a personal narrative and understanding of our students backgrounds. Mission Graduates is excited to welcome Cohort 12, welcome to the MG family!


From left to right, Kevin Isuiza, Jorge Garcia, Wilber Ramirez-Barrios, Catherine Marroquin, and Rosy Baquedano. Together they encompass our high school team in providing college access support.


Cohort 11 and College Connect Alumni who came to support the new Cohort 12   Orientation


Workshop circles in action

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