Criss-cross applesauce was how we would sit in her elementary music room, filled with vibrant colors & instruments, playing Hot Cross Buns on our recorder.

Now, fast forward 10 years and we are still in front of Ms. Letford, the executive director of Alumni360, as young women preparing to embark on our own adult lives. From Gisselle to Lizeth, and all the other talented and skillful young women going on their paths to different colleges, our one connection is Alumni360.

We had a magnificent brunch, and instead of sitting criss-cross applesauce, we sat with poised and postured fully diving deep into our fears about what the future holds. We received advice on how to deal with those obstacles by our successful guest mentors, Christian Carreon, Sherry Shojaei, Jimena Barerra, Angelica Cedillo and Kayla Law.

We covered personal topics from dealing with our roommates in dorms to having a broken heart from missing your family. Since statistics show that students from lower wealth families have higher rates of not completing college, having a supportive network of other successful first-generation college graduates was an experience that not all get the privilege to have. It made my transition feel a whole lot smoother, rather than filled with angst and worry. It opened our eyes to make the correct decisions with proper planning, networking and avoiding impulsive behavior.

The brunch was a gift to all our minds and hearts. We allowed ourselves to become vulnerable, which then lessened our stress and worries about what is about to come. My life, at UC Davis, is barely beginning. I am finding out who I am internally, rather than externally. The same goes for the other young women who attended this dynamic brunch. The wise words the speakers granted over us will contribute to the rest of our lives. We now feel a little less anxious and more exhilarated to be launching into a world filled with endless possibilities.

Thank you to ALL ONE WEALTH and J.B for sponsoring our brunch!

Written By Katherine Menendez

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