Angeles Mission College
Beckons for Mission College Grad
By Eduardo Pardo
does a student who graduates from high school with a 1.5 grade point average
wind up with an invitation to attend Harvard Universitys John F.
Kennedy School of Government?
Disappointed at how poorly he had done in school, Ledezma decided on community college. But an accident suffered by his mother, with whom he is very close, put off his education and forced him to work. Once he got back on track, however, there was no stopping him.
During a two-semester period, Ledezma earned about 80 units and three Associate degrees. He attended five Los Angeles Community College District campuses, including Mission, averaging seven hours of class each day. He recalls studying on buses all over town as he went from one college to another, and eating brown-bag meals on the run.
Of all the colleges, Mission is the school I really liked best because its small and feels like community, he said. I got to know my professors well. I really liked Professor (Charles) Dirks government classes, and Mr. (Stan) Levines cinema class was outstanding.
Back now to Harvard.
Last December, Ledezma visited relatives in Acapulco. Those relatives are well-connected politically in Mexico, Ledezma said, and as a result he had an opportunity to be part of a small group that discussed Mexicos future with President Vicente Fox. After learning that Marco was attending UCLA, Fox asked him about his future, said Ledezma.
I told him I wanted to go to Princeton, recalled Ledezma, adding with a smile: But then he said, No, it would be better if you went to Harvard. (Fox) said he would write a letter for me to Harvard and he did! That moved the process forward pretty fast, and I got accepted soon after that.
About two-thirds of Ledezmas tuition at Harvard will be paid by Mexico. But, in return, Marco will have to work for at least four years in the Mexican government following his graduation.
Im still undecided because of the loans (hed have to secure) and the commitment to work for Mexico for that long of a period, he said. But I know its a huge opportunity everybody keeps telling me that.
Pausing for a moment, Ledezma then quotes advice that probably counts more than that of the President of Mexico or any politically connected relatives.
My mom thinks its a great chance and she says, Go for it.