Meet Lulu Matute
Lulu Matute was born in Chicago to Honduran immigrant parents. Though she had passed all her high school math requirements, her skills got rusty when she took a year off between high school and college. Enrolling at City College of San Francisco, Lulu didn't understand the high stakes of the placement test, didn't prepare for it, and was required to start in the lowest level of remedial math.
"A lot of the problems were very grade school," she said. "My professor told us it was OK if we needed to draw dots to help us count. In high school I had taken trigonometry. I had taken algebra and geometry. But here I was in college counting dots."
Luckily, Lulu heard about CCSF's accelerated statistics pathway. It was a perfect fit for her political science major, and it enabled her to finish her transfer requirements in two and a half years. She earned an A in college Statistics, graduated with a GPA of 3.9, and enrolled at UC Berkeley in fall 2015.
Lulu remembers sitting in that lowest level math class and looking around the room. “All the students in the class were students of color, students that looked like me.” She said that they sometimes talked among themselves, wondering if there was something wrong with them. But taking the accelerated pathway and working with other student advocates, Lulu started to see the problem differently.
"It’s not that we’re not able to learn, not that we’re not smart enough. The problem is the path."