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High school interns' make video on education cuts


Two high school juniors from a new Los Angeles school last spring became UC/ACCORD’s first interns to tackle the impacts of budget cuts to education.

For three months, Daniel Espinosa and Juan Carlos Mejia from the UCLA Community School (UCLA-CS) researched the California Educational Opportunity Report, a collaboration with UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access that reports on the learning opportunities available to the state’s public school students. The latest version, entitled "Free Fall: Educational Opportunities in 2011,” documented how the state’s public schools were handling three years of budget cuts.

Espinosa and Mejia were tasked with making the report’s data palatable to their high school peers. They chose to make a video. The report’s grim statistics were constantly on their mind as they interviewed the school’s principal, counselor, teachers and students.

As a new campus, UCLA-CS was not experiencing the same amount of cutbacks and program reductions reported at other schools. Nonetheless, many students related to the conditions available at their previous schools.

UCLA-CS is one of six Los Angeles Unified pilot schools to open at the Ambassador Schools Complex in Koreatown. The K-12 campus brings together the university’s world-class resources to underserved communities.

The internship program was a great opportunity for students to be exposed to higher education. The four original internship sites were all located on the Westwood campus—UC/ACCORD, UCPD, UCLA Broadcast Studio and the Daily Bruin newspaper.

UC/ACCORD All Campus Consortium on Research for Diversity is an interdisciplinary, multi-campus research center that serves as an information clearinghouse and catalyst for promoting the delivery of high-quality, equitable schooling to all students. UC/ACCORD harnesses the research expertise of University of California to identify strategies that will increase college preparation, access and retention.

For more information on UC/ACCORD interns, contact Claudia Bustamante or Maritza Del Razo.


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