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Brief History of Access

The Chicana/o student suffered from de facto segregation in the school system as much as African Americans but many times that story goes untold or receives less recognition. It wasn't until march 1968 when thousands of Los Angeles high school students staged a walk out and made demands for educational changes. recognition of the default of the American education system un meeting the needs if the Chicana/o further attested to the growing recognition of the fact that equality of opportunity in education for ethnic groups is not provided in America.  

'To be poor and to be the child of parents who have not had the advantage of education is also to be black or to have a Spanish surname"- 1968 President Hitch

Stimulated to action by the recognition that students of color were not receiving the equal chance of getting into higher education, UCLA students began to investigate channels for implementation of the new urban and minority programs. In 1968, the Black Student Union and the United Mexican American Student (UMAS) decided to have a committee specifically for the admissions of Afro-American and Chicano students whose percentages of students at the university did not reflect that of the general population. 

A program expanding the opportunities for higher education was implemented on an experimental basis at UCLA. This program was created in an effort to utilize untapped community resources, that is to say, students with unrealized high potential and the ability to benefit from higher education. This program that emerged from BSU and UMAS was called the High Potential Program, which started in October 1, 1968 under the Department of Special Education. The program would allow students from the community and nontraditional students- gang leaders, activist, etc, who showed potential to attend special classes at UCLA and eventual transition them to become UCLA students. Out of the 100 students part of HPP, 74 students were successful. The program ended after 1 year because 2 High Potential students and Black Panthers members were killed outside Campbell Hall. 

On July 20, 1995, The Regents of the University of California adopted SP-1 Standing Policy 1 (SP1) was a resolution that prohibited the consideration of race, religion, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin as criteria for admission to the University or to any program of study, and SP-2, a resolution that prohibited the consideration of the same attributes in the University's employment and contracting practices. 

On November 6, 1996, the voters of California passed Proposition 209 prohibits the state government institutions from considering race, sex, or ethnicity, specifically in the areas of public employment, public contracting or public education. After the passing of prop 209, the number of Chicana/os at UCLA drastically decreased. 

MEChA saw the low numbers and decided to do create a project that would help outreach to students from low income communities to make sure they had the resources to apply and reach high education. As a response to prop 209, MEChA created Xinachtli, making it the second access- outreach project.


How to get involved?

Currently Xinachtli continues to serves 2 sites- Wilson High School in El Sereno and Santa Monica High School in Santa Monica. We recently expanded our services to Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez High School located in Boyle Heights. Each site has a different focus that corresponds to the students needs. 

MEChA Xinachtli Coordinating Team

Project Coordinator - Victor Gonzalez
Assistant Project Coordinator - Mandie Torres
Access Coordinator - Elena Castro-Beltran

Contact us!

Project Director : Victor Gonzalez
Phone: 310- 825- 8894
Fax: 310-206-3175

Access Coordinator: Elena Castro-Beltran
Fax: 310-206-3175  


Xinachtli Cubicle                                
UCLA's Student Activities Center, Room 106

Woodrow Wilson High School
T & Th 3-5 PM

  1. Mandie Torres

  2. Nicole Rios

  3. Giselle Villanueva 

Santa Monica High School
T 2-5:30 PM &
Th 2:30-6 PM

1. Esmeralda Aldaz
2. Stephanie Villa-Lopez
3. Evelyn Robles 

Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez  High School
T & Th 3:30-5:30

1. Rose Arlene
2. Stephanie Villa-Lopez
3. Evelyn Robles

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