Jose Chicas graduated from Desert Hot Springs High School in 2016. During his four years there, he was involved in student government which at this school is known as USB, as they pride themselves in being United with their student body. He held several officer positions such as Sophomore Class Vice President, Junior and Senior Class President. The responsibilities of these positions consisted of setting up meetings and event coordinating with professionals such as discussing venue prices, catering, capacity size and accommodations. He worked diligently with his board members as they broke the record of amounting one of the largest Senior class funds since the school had opened through proper financial delegation. Simultaneously, he was making time to attend the local college readiness program known as Upward Bound two Saturdays a month. He was taught how to utilize university services, SAT preparation, applying to universities, narrowing down his ideal individual major and university. Even though he remained busy with his extracurriculars, Jose maintained 4.1 average over the course of his four years as he took rigorous honors and Advanced placements courses. Through this he was awarded a Golden gown which only the top 10 percent of the graduating student body received and delivered a graduation speech as Class President. Being such a competitive applicant Jose was accepted to all 7 of 8 schools he had applied to.
After graduation, Jose attended California State Polytechnic University, Pomona that summer as he was accepted into the EOP’s Summer Bridge program. It consisted of a 5-week program in which he would stay on campus where he learned to prepare for his first year of college. He was taught the services to take advantage of at school, how financial aid works, where to resolve issues, navigate around campus, familiarize staff and get ahead in his General Education by taking a 4-unit class. Jose is currently majoring in Animal Science with an emphasis in Pre-veterinary medicine. He plans to attend graduate school to become a certified Domestic/Wildlife Veterinarian. During his years on campus, he got involved in several student panels through Upward Bound and the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP) in which he shared his experience as a first-generation college student to incoming/prospective college students. This passion grew as he became part of the One Future Coachella Valley’s Gentlemen’s Alliance organization which focused on creating solutions for the growing male retention disparity problem. As he enters his fourth year, he will be part of the Don. B Huntley College of Agriculture Peer Advisor team. The goal of the team focuses on retention as they help student register for orientation, provide academic/personal guidance to peers, and help to teach a First Year Experience class on campus.