Alex Serna (San Juan Capistrano, California) is a Program Director for Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano, a nonprofit with the dual mission to support highly motivated, but underserved students. Since 2014, he’s worked towards reducing student attrition across the 6-year program, improving parent engagement, and increasing access to college counseling. In 2 years, 88% of seniors have applied to college and 63% have matriculated to a 4-year university while maintaining 100% program retention. Before that, he oversaw a mathematics and literacy program for youth returning to receive their GED with the Youth Policy Institute, in addition to coordinating two workforce and service-learning grants through the National Council of La Raza. Through this work he expanded the number of youth served from 10 to 60 in 2 years while deepening programming. Alex’s determination to support equity in education emerged from my personal experience of overcoming obstacles to attain my education. Alex almost dropped out of high school, however, after learning that he was going to be a father at 17 he enrolled at a community college where passionate educators helped place him on the successful college path. Within 3 years he transferred to UC Berkeley where he studied the political economy of education .With new motivation, I tutored in East Oakland for 2 years and was a summer intern with the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers at Phillips Academy Andover solidifying his interest in pursuing teaching. Thereafter, Alex enrolled in UCLA’s Teacher Education Program where he earned his master’s degree in education and secondary social studies teaching credential. When he’s not having tea parties with his 4 daughters, Alex can be found training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, reading about the history of hip hop or quantum mechanics and looking for the best vegan food in southern California. (Nominated to participate in the Aspen Seminar)
Alex Serna (San Juan Capistrano, California) is a Program Director for Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano, a nonprofit with the dual mission to support highly motivated, but underserved students.