Empowering Youth Through Education

Alumni Success Stories

"Before I went off to college the Fulfillment Fund gave me this backpack. I wore it every day, from my very first day of college to my last. It came with me from South Central, to Palos Verdes, to study abroad in England and South Africa and back home again. It was with me through every late night study session and every teardrop of self-doubt. It was more than a backpack, it was a message to me: That people at the Fulfillment Fund believed in me, and I couldn't quit."

Fulfillment Fund alumna Jovana Smith, a 2014 graduate of Marymount California University, is a teacher in South Los Angeles. Hear her story

"Sometimes when you are put in an environment where I grew up, you kind of give up on certain things. You don't reach your full potential. Being involved with the Fulfillment Fund was definitely a blessing. They made me want to pursue a degree and become a college student. Now, looking back, I wouldn't be in the position I am now if it wasn't for this program."

Meshach Puerto, a 2015 graduate of Marymount California University, is an admissions counselor at Marymount California University. Read more

"The Fulfillment Fund is more than field trips, it is more than college readiness, and it is more than scholarships. It is a voice, a loud voice, that shouts, 'You have what it takes.'"

Jahvry Bailous, a 2013 graduate of Temple University, is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in education at California State University, Fullerton. Read more

"To this day, I still seek the advice and counsel from the mentors I met through the Fulfillment Fund internship program and I use the lessons that I learned through the internships to help me today."

Keith Barnett is a Partner at Sutherland, a major law firm in Atlanta, Georgia. A graduate of UCLA and Duke University School of Law, he focuses his practice in the areas of business litigation and securities enforcement, and has also litigated jury and bench trials in state and federal courts against individuals and companies.  Read more

"My family expected me to be the first to go to a four-year college ... but didn’t know how to help me navigate through choosing a school or completing applications and financial aid forms. The Fulfillment Fund was invaluable in helping me to successfully enroll in Spelman College."

Nichole Harris Blackwell, a graduate of Spelman College and Claremont Graduate University, is a professor of English at Santa Monica College. Read more

"I know that I owe much of my success to the Fulfillment Fund and especially to my Fulfillment Fund mentor Dee Nasatir and her husband Mike. My mother Josefina’s unconditional support and love is also irreplaceable and continues to be necessary."

Judith Flores Carmona, Ph.D., was the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Critical Social Inquiry at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts from fall 2010-spring 2012. In fall 2012 she relocated to Las Cruces, New Mexico to become a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and in the Honors College at New Mexico State University.  Read more

"Toward the end of my high school career, I found myself with a lack of good female role models in my life. It was then that I was connected with the Fulfillment Fund and my mentor, Karen Baynard."

Dr. Christine Dauphine is an academic surgeon at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, specializing in breast diseases. She is a graduate of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and University of California Riverside. Read more

"The Fulfillment Fund gave me hope that my life could be different, and that it WOULD be different. It taught me that I could survive and then come back and actually make some changes. And I do think anything is possible, thanks to my mentor Michelle, and to the Fulfillment Fund."

Veronica Estrada is a Private Banker at JP Morgan.  Read more.

"I have nothing but gratefulness to the Fulfillment Fund for believing in me, and helping me to see my life outside of myself. They saw great dreams for me. Now I work in the neighborhoods where I grew up, helping other people see those great dreams for themselves."

Raphael Romero is a clinical psychologist with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Read more