In 2001 Exceeding Expectations began with twelve kids, all of whom came from quite large, extended families. Not one of these kids had seen anyone in their family graduate from high school. We quickly learned that college was something that was seen as being for others….not for them.

At that point, it was clear that the major objective of EE must be to get these kids educated if they were ever to have a chance of breaking out of their very limiting environment.

It starts with exposure to a world beyond their own, helping them to understand and to believe that education is their right and something to strive for. However, as they started to believe that an education is important and possible, having no financial means stopped any dreams they might have had. So we make this “deal” with every, single EE kid and his family:

You get accepted into the best school for you, and EE promises that finances will never be a deterrent towards staying in school.

Thanks to our very generous supporters, we’ve been able to keep that promise. Some donations are made as general support to the EE program and are applied towards educational needs. In other cases, donations are made in the form of a grant to a specific EE student.

We proudly present the EE kids who, with this kind of support,
have already graduated from college.
Others are following in their footsteps. (See below for kids now in college).



Nik was our first college graduate. After graduating top of his high school class in 2008, he went on to UC San Diego and graduated in 2012 with a degree in Biophysics. He now is a regional sales manager with a biomedical supply company.

Nik is also paying it forward as an EE volunteer and mentor.


One happy graduate

Marlene was accepted into a special high school program where she attended her first two years of college during her last three years of high school. She finished that program #1 in her class and delivered a beautiful commencement speech.

She then followed Nik to UC San Diego and graduated in (field) in 2016. She is now working in a program helping autistic kids and is planning on returning for a graduate degree.



Louisa studied international studies at UC Berkeley, graduating in 2012.

After working in the field for a year, she’s in the process of applying for graduate school.

The kids are also marking successes in other post-high school endeavors.



Edgar felt that the military was the best option for him. Following his high school graduation, he entered the US Marine Corp where he’s having a very successful career. Following a full tour as a Drill Instructor at Parris Island, he’s now in Okinawa running a motor pool.



Willie Barrios took a different route, one which is proving to be a very good choice for him. Following his high school graduation, he started work in distribution where he set about learning the business. In 2012 he bought his first truck (with a loan from EE) and started his own business. Today he has three trucks and his business is thriving.

The Work Continues

EE kids now in college

  • Archi Lai (UCLA)
  • Josh Rodriquez (California State San Bernardino)
  • Jesus Soto (California State San Bernardino)
  • Isi Ibarra (Riverside Community College)
  • Orion Hernandez (Long Beach Community College)
  • Tammy Patterson (California State Riverside)
  • Joseph Patterson (University California Irvine)
  • Joselyn De Leon (California State San Bernardino)
  • Ana Campos (California State San Bernardino)
  • Enrique Campos (Yucaipa Community College)
  • John Alvarez (California Baptist University)

Sustaining Educational Grantors

  • Hillary Biscay
  • Blazeman Foundation
  • Boingo Wireless, Inc.
  • Brenkus Family
  • Heart of Gold Foundation
  • McFarland Family
  • Talbert Family Foundation

Ongoing Record of Achievement


Ahris Mayorga and his WOW (Writers Outstanding Work) award