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BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS: High School Students Visiting University of La Verne Get More Than the Usual Campus and Bookstore Tour!

September 21, 2017
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Some of the visiting high school students learned about a new organization that University of La Verne students Marcos Cisneros and Michaela Adams are seeking to start on campus.

LA VERNE, California, September 21, 2017 — Rain wasn’t the only nice surprise that landed on the University of La Verne campus on Thursday morning. A 78-person-strong contingent of high school students from Southeast Academy in Norwalk visited the University to experience a day of college life — and they certainly got their money’s worth.

Southeast offers a military/law enforcement focus, and most of its students were wearing military fatigues and army green shirts with “AVID” bold displayed. AVID stands for Advance Via Individual Determination, which is a college-readiness program designed to help students develop the skills they need to excel in college. The program, now offered in more than 2,000 U.S. high schools including Southeast Academy, places special emphasis on growing writing, critical thinking, teamwork, organization and reading skills.

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Some of the students received more than the standard campus tour and bookstore visit. Many stopped at a table set up by Marcos Cisneros and Michaela Adams, who were looking for their own recruits — namely students who were seeking a conservative alternative to the liberal bias often associated with college campuses, whether true or not.

The conservative organization that Cisneros and Adams, club president and secretary, respectively, are seeking to start on campus is Turning Point USA whose mission is to “identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote capitalism, free markets and limited government.” Turning Point also is known for its Professor Watchlist, which names college professors it alleges “discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.” The nonprofit organization’s motto is “Big Government Sucks.”

Southeast Academy students came out in force to experience a day of college life.

Adams first learned about the group on Facebook before attending the Young Women’s Leadership Summit in Dallas, Texas, last June.

“It was absolutely amazing,” she said. “I learned so much. And I was just encouraged to start something on my campus.” That’s when she met with Cisneros, whom she called “one of the few conservatives on campus.”

“I kind of got into this because out of my four years that I’ve been here, there has never been a strong conservative support group on campus,” Cisneros said. “It’s been very liberal and left wing. I was kind of forced and I started noticing a lot of other students who were also forced to keep their head down and kind of agree with everybody else even if their views differed, out of fear of being attacked.

“So we want to offer that support for students who feel the same way we do and want to help them have a voice on this campus.”

The pair passed out pamphlets, stickers and other marketing materials while sharing information about Turning Point.

The Southeast Academy students might have been on the University of La Verne campus only a short time, but in that period they certainly got an eyeful and earful of what college life can be like and the diverse range of ideas and opinions that will soon compete for their attention.

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