“UC Irvine was a totally different encounter from my community college experience. Honestly, it has its pros and cons but just the simple fact that I had gotten as far as I did makes me appreciate the campus a lot more. My experience at UC Irvine turned phenomenally more fulfilling after I found the Underground Scholars of UC Irvine, I felt like I was at home again. Words cannot explain the feeling inside of me when I met the men and women that genuinely understand my struggles due to their own personal experiences.

The Underground Scholars of UC Irvine helped me navigate a vision for my higher educational plans and blessed me with friendships that are difficult to find for formerly incarcerated students in America. Statistics show that the majority of people that come out of prison or jail return eventually while students that get an education show an opposite trend. This organization at UC Irvine has assured my vision and hopes for having a flourishing future waiting for me. I hope and wish that the Underground Scholars of UC Irvine stay everlasting for future anteaters to experience this gift.”

Ester Mendez, UCI Student