College Prep from Day One

If you were a parent in Santa Ana, Calif., you wouldn't necessarily dream big dreams for your kids. The town is poor, 91% Hispanic, out of the mainstream. With luck, the kids will get high school diplomas, maybe a couple of years in community college. University? Out of the question. But what if the university wanted your kids and reached out to make sure they got in?

Meet Angie Contreras and Leslie Morales. The seventh-graders are standing beside each other only because their counselor, Patrick Yrarrazaval-Correa, has pulled them out of the lunchtime crowd at Santa Ana's Willard Middle School, in...

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