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PCC’s CORE Students Celebrate Graduation On June 19

Published on Monday, May 31, 2021 | 3:38 pm

Former inmates who made their way from cells into college classrooms through a special Pasadena City College program will be among those recognized during a special graduation ceremony on June 19.

Of the 18 graduating and transfer students in PCC’s  Community Overcoming Recidivism through Education (CORE) program, 10 were formerly prisoners.

The CORE program provides support to formerly incarcerated and system-impacted scholars enrolling at PCC. The program’s primary goal is to develop a holistic approach while empowering students to succeed in higher education and beyond.

According to research, higher education is the best tool in decreasing recidivism rates. About 96 percent of individuals sentenced to jail or prison will eventually come home. The rate of recidivism is lowered by 51 percent among individuals who participate in college programs such as CORE, according to PCC.

PCC said some of the school’s CORE scholars will be transferring to UC Berkeley, UCLA, Whittier College, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State LA, UC Irvine and Pepperdine University.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Romarilyn Ralston, program director for Project Rebound at Cal State Fullerton, and the PCC alumnus keynote speaker will be Zina Blamo, who currently works for Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.

“We look forward to celebrating with you as we send our scholars off to continue their academic pursuit,” PCC said.

To register for the virtual event, which begin at 1 p.m., go to and fill out the online form.

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