Los Angeles Office
Why I Do What I Do:
“As a first-generation college student, navigating higher education was challenging. Fortunately, I had the support of my family to keep me motivated. I want to help create equitable opportunities for low-income, first-generation students of color to receive support that will guide them towards academic success..”
Alma Mater(s): University of California, Los Angeles and University of Southern California
Your role in one sentence: My role is to support the research team in supporting the organization’s mission to ensure all students in California have the access and opportunity to go to college and succeed.
When I am not at work helping students get to and succeed in college I am…cuddling with my three beautiful cats: Kit Kat, Penelope, and Olive. Shout out to my fur babies!
If not higher education then what cause? Women’s rights and immigration issues
Rebecca Cepeda grew up in the city of Lynwood. She is a first-generation college graduate who received her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA in Political Science w/ a minor in Chicana/o Studies and received her Master’s degree at USC in Educational Counseling. At a young age, Rebecca knew she was going to college. Her parents would often discuss how going to college would open countless opportunities for the future. As a high school student, Rebecca was actively involved with CSU Long Beach Educational Talent Search and UCLA Early Academic Outreach Program to learn about higher education.
During her undergraduate career at UCLA, Rebecca struggled academically, mentally, and emotionally. As a first-generation college student, she experienced the imposter syndrome and was unsure about the resources that would support her throughout her academic and personal journey. She commuted two hours to school and back every day for three years while working countless hours at fast food restaurants. After Rebecca graduated from college, she was inspired to help others persist in higher education, regardless of the challenges they faced.
Prior to working at the Campaign, Rebecca worked at Rio Hondo College as Student Success Coach in the Guardian Scholars office and worked with former or current foster youth students. She currently works for USC TRiO Educational Talent Search, where she worked with low-income and/or first-generation high school students at Manual Arts High School. She also volunteers for the Lynwood Alumni Association, where she assists high school students in her community to learn about higher education and apply to colleges. She aspires to work with community college students and pursue a doctoral degree in higher education.