Contributed by Janessa Garcia- Students for Students Director
California Lutheran University sophomore Political Science major, Janessa Garcia, recently founded The Student for Students Network, a Ventura County based network helping high school students with college and career readiness.
The aim of The Students For Students Network is to assist students in Ventura County find local college resources and local scholarships. Garcia started this organization because she wished she had more resources earlier in high school to help navigate her through the college application process.
“I wasn’t aware of anything. I knew I wanted to go to college, but I didn’t know how to get there,” Garcia said.
Garcia said another inspiration for creating this network grew from running for her local school board for the Oxnard Union School District and campaigning The Student For Students Network through a grassroots campaign.
“I got 30,000 votes which was so inspiring to be able to see that many people voted for me and believed in my campaign and mission. It was absolutely motivating,” Garcia said.
Ximena Fernandez, student communications director of The Students For Students Network and sophmore at Cal Lutheran, said it is impactful for the network to be student-led.
“Students who have gone through that college process recently can best help students going through that process now,” Fernandez said. “We are striving to be able to have informative presentations in person to better answer high schooler’s questions and hear what they want to see.”
Garcia said that her team aims to answer to high school students on a more personal level instead of acting as an administrator or school counselor.
“We provide that welcoming inclusive environment where students feel comfortable enough to ask us questions even if they feel dumb,” Garcia said.
The network takes advantage of reaching their young audience on social media platforms. By using Instagram reels, the network educates and inspires high school students through testimonials from college students about their process of getting into college and how their experience has been so far.
Leslie Madrigal, Cal Lutheran alumna and student ambassador for the network, said it’s vital to listen and amplify young voices.
“I feel a lot of the time when you’re a student you’re not taken seriously and seen as a kid,” Madrigal said.
She said the network also helps inform students on diverse financial opportunities suited for them because many are unaware of the scholarship options at smaller colleges.
“Students don’t necessarily need to go to a Cal State or UC for you to succeed,” Madrigal said.
To learn more about the Student For Students Network visit their website at thestudentforstudents.org