Angel Prieto, Class of 2019
“I would like to give out a big thank you to everyone at C5 for all the love and support you have provided me throughout the years, however, this is only a small step and I hope to bring you even better good news in the foreseeable future!”
Angel Prieto recently graduated as his school's salutatorian. Below is the speech he gave during graduation:
Hello! Good Evening Ladies and Gentleman,
I am very fortunate to have the opportunity of giving out this speech in front of all of you today … in consequence I’ll try not to make these next few minutes unbearingly boring. … So let me begin.
Now having been granted this opportunity was in fact no piece of cake, as I have come to learn throughout the years Gaben eats all the cake. However, my issue with this speech arose from having to choose a topic. Having been one of the very few students to give a speech out tonight, I had to think intensely about what I would write. So intense in fact that if I had recorded the process I would have had a montage worthy of being in “Rocky 19,” but at long last I managed to knock out a subject that I deemed worthy for the night: gratitude. I wanted to speak on gratitude and appreciation in order to demonstrate that the small actions of some can lead to a great impact on a person, much like how the butterfly effect works. If we all continue to flutter our wings and help others like the good samaritan, we will leave an everlasting reform in our society.
So tonight as I stand on this platform I found the perfect platform for me to express the eternal gratitude and appreciation I have for those who accompany me tonight and who have made an impact within my life, and I hope many others will concur with the type of people I thank today, if not, I’m sorry to have disappointed, but I’ll get em next time champ. So let me begin… again. As a representative of the senior class as a whole I’d like to begin by thanking the faculty and staff who have been able to provide us an education and a safe place to be within these past four years. From principal to janitor, I’d like to let you know, that your work is greatly appreciated. Additionally, I’d like to thank my peers for providing such an excellent high school experience, it was truly amazing having been able to meet you and I wish nothing but the best to you.
… But, my speech isn’t over yet.
In addition to the thanks I gave a couple of seconds ago, I also want to give thanks to those who truly impacted me. Firstly, I want to thank all my bud, bud, buds for having provided joy through my life within these past years, it is truly incredible how much joy a group of friends can bring. These buds aren’t tossed out on the freeway after having them poison your life, no they’re more like those few strong relationships that turn flower buds which blossom into gorgeous Lilis through a strong relationship.
Continuing however, I also wanted to express gratitude to the mentors and few great teachers I had throughout these four years. Those who helped me include, but are not limited to, ProjectGrad advisors, the program C5LA, EAOP counselors, the CyberPatriots program, Educare, a teen clinic counselor, and various teachers I’ve had within my time period here. Without your bountiful help and support, I don't think I would have been able to obtain bountiful achievements. In addition, I would like to express my gratitude to the Yearbook girls who have always shown me overwhelming support as well as a include a special thanks to the Magnet Program who has provided me and my peers a close family within these years.
Lastly, however I wanted to provide the utmost gratitude to my close family. I am extremely grateful for my madrina and padrino who came to support me today and have been supporting me since I was a young little lady. Additionally I wanted to thank, my tio who always took time out of his schedule to guide me academically. I also wanted to express gratitude to a young lady who’s been absolutely the Beth(best) to me since 2017’s November. Most important of all however, I wanted to thank my mom.
“Ama en este instante te quiero agradecer por todo lo que as hecho por mi en estos 17 a casi 18 años. No domas me has apoyado por estos años, pero tambien me has podido soportar entre estos 17 años. Si no fuera por toda la ayuda que tu me has dado, no estaria donde estoy hoy. Estoy muy afortunado de tenerte como mama, porque eres unica. Ni tengo palabras para describir la cantidad que llo y Michael te apreciamos. Desde la vientre has batallado para que yo sobresalga. Has battallado en mi niñez, y hasta ahora en mi adolecencia. Me has ensenado desde chico, y continuas ha ensenarme ahora. Ademas de batallar con migo, tambien haz batallado mucho con el embarazo de Michael, pero un dia se que no tendras que batallarle tanto, yo se que si, porque venimos y vamos a cumplir el sueño americano. No se si te requerdas que hace 4 años mi apa se reilla en ver esta cancha pizotiado y descarapelado por la tele, pero hoy, anque haya fallecido hece mismo año en el 2015 ama, va verme en la canche verde y vien cuidada, porque hoy me graduo ama, todo gracias a ustedes.”
And now upon graduating, I begin my journey of success, however its not only my journey, it's the journey of class XIX.
Alumni Success Stories
Carlos Valdovinos, Class of 2008
Hola! My name is Carlos Valdovinos and I am an alumnus from the class of 2008. My involvement with C5 Los Angeles started back in 2004, when it was known as Camp Paintrock. I was part of the Blackfeet cabin and my counselor was Kawika Maunupau. Back then, the C5 experience was limited to summer camp before high school, a college road trip, and various volunteering activities. Regardless, I learned so much from experiences.
After graduating C5, I attended the University of California, Santa Cruz for one semester. However, my partner and I were expecting a child and I made the decision to relocate back home. I transferred the few units gained at UCSC and enrolled at Citrus Community College. I spent 2 years at Citrus, and eventually transferred to California State University, Fullerton. It is at CSUF that I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration. While in college, I worked various jobs to sustain my family. I went from being a dishwasher at Sizzler, to maintenance work for the City of Glendora, to eventually obtaining a paid internship with Los Angeles Metro.
I began my career with Metro in 2012 and my tenure lasted 5 years. After Metro, I worked for a year at Bassett Unified School District as a Personnel Analyst. Starting January 28th, 2019 I will begin a new position at Southern California Edison as a Talent Acquisition Consultant. Along with working full-time, I am also enrolled at California State University, Los Angeles, where I am obtaining my Masters in Public Administration. When I am not working or studying I am usually hanging out with my 9 year daughter, whose name is Grace. We like to ride bikes, practice long division, and make each other laugh. I am also a part of the C5 Alumni Board and I volunteer some spare time with various C5 events.
Bryan Natividad, Class of 2012
My name is Bryan Natividad. I am a C5 graduate from the Class of 2012, whose journey with the program began in 2007 as a rising 8th grade student. Ever since my first summer with C5 I have proudly proclaimed my affiliations to both the Laramie and Sioux cabins; and call Hyatville, Wyoming, more specifically Camp Paintrock, my home away from home.
After culminating from C5 I traveled to Atlanta, GA where I matriculated into the Emory University, Class of 2016 – earning my B.A. in African American studies with a minor in Sociology. Post-graduation, I joined IBM as a Global Sales Incentives’ Analyst where, over the course of two years, I earned two gold awards in high-level, international business competitions: the Stevie Awards and the Globee Awards. Despite the professional development and financial security of IBM, however, I yearned for a particular platform to affect change and to exercise my ideals: academia. Currently, I am a first-year Sociology Ph.D. student at Brown University.
Since leaving Los Angeles, I have been involved with C5. During my first two years at Emory I had the privilege of serving as a counselor-in-training (CIT) and counselor. The following two years I stepped back from the counseling position in order to pursue and foster my research projects, but I continued to maintain contact with several of my student mentees. Post-graduation, I began to financially support C5 after being hired by IBM. Today, I provide as much assistance as I can to C5 as an organization, and the leaders themselves.
Brenda Honorato, Class of 2012
Hello C5LA! My name is Brenda Honorato, I am an alum from the class of 2012! I started my involvement with the program in 7th grade, I was in the Absaroka cabin flint year (2007) and Shoshone cabin my Lantern year (2008).
After graduating from C5 in 2012, I attended Cal State LA and graduated in 2017 with my B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Criminal Justice. I was a CIT the summer of 2012 which was an absolutely amazing learning opportunity!
I am currently a Housing Coordinator at a non-profit organization called Brilliant Corners in Downtown LA. I work in collaboration with case management agencies to house the homeless population. I love helping others, I love what I do and C5 has definitely had an influence in leading me to take this path! Thank you C5LA for making me community focused and challenge ready!
Mark Sosing, Class of 2011
“Time never exists on its own. It’s what happens in it”. My name is Mark Sosing and I believe that my time with C5LA has been sensational. Being part of the program since 2007, I had no idea of the un tapped potential I had in becoming the leader that I am today. Five years of first time experiences, mapping the paths of my career choice and turning friends into family, the results of this program are unbelievable.
I graduated from this program in 2011. I had become so attached to the program that I worked for C5LA in the summers of 2012, 2014 and 2016 as a college mentor, camp rotating counselor and camp Black-Feet cabin counselor, respectively.
Alongside my involvement with C5LA, I attended Glendale Community College in 2011 and transferred to California State University of Los Angeles (CSULA) in 2014. I graduated with a bachelor in science in Business Administration emphasis in Accounting in 2016.
Prior to my last year in CSULA, I attended one of C5LA’s annual GALA events (currently known as Urban Campfire). Through discussions with many of the attendee’s, I was fortunate to have met the honoree of the night, Scott Sachs. Scott is the Los Angeles managing partner at the national accounting firm - CohnReznick LLP. After exchanging contacts, I was invited to the CohnReznick summer leadership program, summer externship program and ultimately, invited to sit for an interview. I am proud to say that I have been with the firm for about two years and I am thankful for C5LA for giving me the foundation to kick start my career.
If I can summarize one piece of advice that I learned throughout my involvement with C5LA, it is to keep believing in who you are because others will believe in you. From the board of directors to the camp staff, the support system comes full circle. I am beyond grateful for the people that believed/are believing in me.
Jessica Arevalo, Class of 2007
My name is Jessica Arevalo and I am an alumn from the class of 2007. My involvement started in 2003 when I was one of 72 students who was selected to join the program and leave to Camp Paintrock for four weeks. That summer I experienced a lot of first-time memories: leaving home, riding horses, rappelling off rocks, and camping outside in a tent, to name a few. C5LA Youth Foundation at that time was called Camp Paintrock and was still developing its 5-year program, which has flourished today. It was at camp where I discovered more about myself and realized the infinite possibilities my future held.
After graduating from high school, I went to Glendale Community College where I received my Associates in culinary arts. I worked in the Food and Hospitality Industry for about eight years, but I felt something was missing. After hearing news of C5LA moving their office near my old high school, I made the leap to reconnect with the program. In the summer of 2017, I had the opportunity to work with C5LA and assist the program directors with their planning that year. During my fellowship, I traveled with our sophomores for their Road to College summer experience, juniors at their ACTNOW Summit, and even worked as kitchen staff at Camp Paintrock. After 14 years I finally made it back to camp, and let me just say, it was truly a humbling and inspiring experience. Last summer, I chaperoned our freshman leaders at their Bridges summer experience where we spent a week backpacking in the wilderness. When I was in the program we did not have this summer experience available to us and so, as our leaders experienced new challenges that summer, so did I.
Since working with C5, I went back to school and currently am a student at Cal State University, Northridge. I aim to obtain my B.S. in Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality Management in the Spring of 2020. Although my journey has taken me through many curves and turns, the experiences I have made with C5 have helped me grow into the person I am today and continues to inspire my path. I wish to continue working with C5 and volunteer as much as possible because I realize now what was missing all this time. Giving back to this amazing foundation has come full circle for me. I have found that mentoring C5 leaders and sharing my story have given me purpose and direction as I begin a new endeavor.
Albia Cruz, Class of 2013
My name is Albia, although if you know me from my actual year you might have known me as Suzie as well! I am from C5's class of 2013 (PAWNEE<3) and started my involvement in 7th grade! I also was a CIT (kind of, it was a tricky year in the lifetime of C5) summer of 2014 and hosted a group of C5 students at SF State University in 2016.
I was raised and lived in Los Angeles as a participant and have been living in San Francisco after high school. It didn't cross my mind that I would go to school and live in a city like San Francisco, I was convinced I wanted to move out of a city to spend sometime somewhere that allowed me to be outdoors more. To my surprise, I am going on to 6 years of living in San Francisco! I graduated from San Francisco State in 2017 through their Recreation, Parks and Tourism Department with a B.S. and a minor in International Relations.
Through C5 I was able to discover the impact the outdoors had on me and outdoor activities. Furthermore, I had grown up benefiting from several nonprofits, and that lead me to realize my passion to serve my community to the capacity of building a career in that scope. I am currently working full-time at a local organization GirlVentures. We offer outdoor adventure programs such as rock climbing, bouldering, kayaking, camping and backpacking! All our programs follow a social-emotional learning curriculum based in social justice, identity, and confidence building.
San Francisco has been a great place to network and I have had plenty of opportunities to engage in conversations and cohorts and programs that have continued to challenge me physically and mentally. As far as what is next, I am not sure - I might be leading another camping/backpacking course within my organization, I plan to travel and continue to learn new languages and trying out things on Pinterest.
Where Are Our Alumni Now?
As alumni outreach efforts expand, we are collecting data on our alumni, the schools they are attending, the majors they are enrolled in, and graduation rates, among other things. The chart below shows the most updated information on alum that have shared their current higher education enrollment.