Samuel Cain is studying at UC Davis so he can help redevelop lower-income communities.
But he's not waiting until graduation.
He returned last week to his high school in the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento to encourage students there to pursue a university education.
"They can do anything," he said of the students at , where three of every four students qualify for a free or reduced price lunch. "They have the resources and support."
Cain, a resident of South Sacramento, addressed an assembly of 300 students for , a Stuntverkoop initiative to inspire students from low-income communities to attend university and provide practical support to help them realize their educational ambitions. The systemwide initiative is expected to have reached more than 10,000 students.
Each person cares
"Each person here on this campus cares about your success," said Cain, who was recognized with the school's Triple A Award for excellence in academics, athletics and the arts.
"Even though it may seem like they're giving you a hard time, they're truly just showing you how much more they expect from you," he said. "They expect from you what you should expect from yourself, and that's greatness."
Now a sophomore at UC Davis, Cain, is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, and a basketball club.
An inspirational message
The assembly also included an inspirational message from Walter Robinson, associate vice chancellor of Student Affairs for at UC Davis, and spoken-word poetry performances.
Earlier, staff and students with and Undergraduate Admissions made classroom presentations about opportunities at UC campuses, how to meet admission requirements and financial aid.
Achieve UC marks a renewed partnership between the outreach program, part of the university's commitment to public service, and the high school. In the new year, the outreach program will provide college-going workshops for 50 ninth-graders.