The board of directors of the Across the Bridge Foundation has accepted the resignation of Jennifer Andaluz, Downtown College Prep’s (DCP’s) founding executive director according to an announcement made by Maria Arellano, board president of the Across the Bridge Foundation, the non-profit that operates DCP schools. Andaluz will remain in her position until the end of the school year as the board conducts its search for a new executive director.
“We are grateful beyond measure for Andaluz’ many accomplishments over her 20-year tenure, her visionary and strategic leadership in service to our mission of preparing first-generation students for college success.”
Arellano also added, “DCP holds an important and enduring role in the community, ensuring those students furthest from opportunity can develop, pursue and fulfill their college aspirations. DCP graduates are forging a legacy of success in their families and in their community.”
A former San Jose Unified teacher, Andaluz, and her co-founder Greg Lippman, saw an unmet need in the community and set about creating what would become the first charter high school in Santa Clara County. The first class, a small group of high school freshmen and their families, met in Sacred Heart Parish in the Guadalupe/Washington neighborhood where they adopted the values of ganas (desire), comunidad (community), and orgullo (pride) that have endured through decades, several campuses and family generations.
Today, DCP operates four campuses in San Jose authorized by both San Jose Unified and the Santa Clara County Office of Education: a combined high school and middle school at the newly renovated Southern Lumber site on Monterey Road, another newly constructed middle school campus on Ocala, and a second high school on the grounds of Independence High School. DCP teachers have been recognized with numerous regional and state-level awards. In 2018, Andaluz formed a vibrant Diversity-Equity-Inclusion working group focused on deepening DCP’s commitment to equity and anti-racism. Andaluz has coalesced a strong group of individual, corporate and foundation stakeholders in support of the school’s mission.
With a dedicated scholarship program that has granted $2M in scholarships to close the college affordability gap for students, DCP boasts one of the highest college-going, persistence and completion rates in the county among low-income and Latino students. Today, several DCP alumni serve as teachers and staff at the schools while other alumni pursue careers in engineering, nursing, and social services in and beyond the immediate community.
“Founding, growing and leading DCP has been the experience of a lifetime."
Andaluz also stated, “DCP is an extraordinary community with deep roots beginning with our community and stretching well into Silicon Valley. I am confident that as the world emerges from the pandemic, DCP’s uncompromising commitment to educational equity will be a north star for San Jose and beyond.”