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Season 1. Episode 7.

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Welcome to the GIA Education Report. With the latest in Southern California education news, I’m Alyssa Silva. 

The Education Department is taking action to improve its Federal Student Aid (FSA) office following delays and errors in this year’s FAFSA rollout. Secretary Miguel Cardona announced a full-scale review of the FSA’s organization, management, staffing, and processes. The department is also bringing in new leadership and IT experts to address these issues.   

Cardona emphasized FSA’s long-standing mission to help Americans access higher education and acknowledged the evolving challenges it faces. 

Cardona noted that these “transformational changes” will be guided by input from students, educators, and systems design experts. The goal is to ensure smoother operations for future FAFSA applications, benefiting current and prospective college students nationwide. 

Numerous schools across the Inland Empire are announcing their summer class schedules, providing affordable education opportunities for students. These programs are an excellent way for students to complete courses in a shorter time frame, helping them progress faster toward their degrees. This can lead to early graduation or the ability to take on more advanced courses sooner. 

General education courses like English, biology, and public speaking are also available. Given the expected high demand, students are encouraged to apply soon to secure their spots. For more information and to apply, visit the respective school websites.

 A Riverside community member is making a big difference for local college students. Justin Scott-Coe, a former adjunct professor at Riverside City College (RCC), celebrated his 50th birthday by raising over $6,500 for the RCCD Foundation’s Student Emergency Fund. In lieu of gifts, Justin asked for donations to help students in need. 

Inspired by his milestone birthday, he organized a crowdfunding campaign to support students facing immediate needs like food, clothing, and shelter. Emphasizing the importance of these essentials, Justin highlighted that students can’t focus on education if they’re worrying about basic necessities.  

The campaign, promoted through social media and personal invitations, surpassed its $5,000 goal, raising $6,582. Justin hopes others will continue to support initiatives like the RCCD Foundation, underscoring the vital role of community in student success.  

Inland Empire senior and valedictorian at San Gorgonio High, Silvana Vasquez, has been accepted to over 30 universities nationwide. Ultimately, she chose her dream school, Harvard University, where she will start this fall on a full-ride scholarship. 

Silvana will be the first in her family to attend college. Despite many challenges, she is graduating with an impressive 4.87 GPA. She plans to pursue a career in law and politics, aiming to make a significant impact beyond herself. Congratulations, Silvana!  

And that’s this week’s GIA Education Report, I’m Alyssa Silva.  

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Growing Inland Achievement (GIA) created the GIA Education Report to keep you informed and connected with the most relevant developments shaping the educational sphere. Tune in to stay up-to-date with key insights and stories impacting education today. Learn more at

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