UCLA Broadcast Studio

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According to the statistics, Hector de Leon and Robert Jimenez probably shouldn’t be starting their freshmen years at UCLA.

Both grew up the children of Mexican immigrants and in cities with poverty rates higher than the national average. De Leon was raised in Perris, California, a city 86 miles from the Westwood campus, where according to the most recent U.S. Census data, only 9.2% of adults 25 and older had at least a bachelor’s. Jimenez grew up in nearby Moreno Valley, where only 14.9% of the same age range of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree. No one in his family has a college degree.

Yet as high school students they followed a path similar to lots of Bruins. They both excelled in the classroom, participated in sports and extracurricular activities, and they participated in and organized political demonstrations for social justice. Those experiences combined with support from their families and one another has brought them both to UCLA.