The Napa Valley College Puente Program, a bridge program that provides a first year English, counseling and mentoring experience, graduated 16 students in this fall's 2017 ceremony.
Each cohort of 29 students begins the first phase of the program in a fall semester basic skills English course as well as a counseling course. Each student receives a community mentor and all participate in events which include the students' families.
These students, many of whom are the first in their families to graduate college, continue on to Phase II and III of the program until they are ready to transfer. In doing so, these students must often manage a job, family responsibilities and financial need along with any other obstacles that may occur.
The 16 students are Marilu Ayala-Hurtado, Joana Cardenas, Jorge Hernandez, Stephanie Herrera Barajas, Jazmin Ortiz, Maricela Pelayo, Daniela Quintana Munoz, Jocelyne Ramos Longoria, Meleny Ramos Montes, Diana Flores Paniagua, Marisela Rodriguez, Angie Salamanca-Morgan, Paulina Zafra, Susana Linarez, Rocio Gonzalez and Arely Romero.
The program is administered by Cathy Gillis, Puente English Professor; Marci Sanchez, Puente Counseling Professor; Christina Rivera, the Puente Mentor Coordinator and Alex Guerrero, former Puente Counseling Professor.