Students Served


Students Reached


Years Operating


Who We Are

South County Cal-SOAP is a pre-college program that helps low-income and first-generation students go to college. We assist students, kindergarten through college, navigate every aspect of their educational journey, offering academic advising, financial aid awareness, tutoring, college tours and more. Through these services, we equip the students least likely to enter college with the tools and knowledge they need to attain their academic goals.

Our Mission

To create educated communities, one underrepresented student at a time.

Our Vision

Equal Opportunity from K to College.

Our Services

We assist students in locating and applying for scholarships. In addition, we offer a South County Cal-SOAP Scholarship.


The primary objectives of Cal-SOAP are to increase postsecondary educational opportunities by increasing the availability of information and improve students’ access to higher education by raising their achievement levels. Based on these objectives, advisement and support for academic achievement activities shall be basic elements of Cal-SOAP services.
We offer one-on-one tutoring through afterschool and in class tutoring for our High School students. We also partner with the Power School program and their afterschool program. The consortium hosts preparation workshops for SAT, PSAT, essay workshops, etc.
"College: Making It Happen" provides practical and easy-to-understand information on how to prepare academically and financially for college. South County Cal-SOAP visits every 8th grade classroom in our consortium for a 1-hour college preparedness workshop, reaching around 1000 students each year.
Each academic year students have the opportunity to attend a Cal-SOAP sponsored College Fair, hosted by Gilroy and San Benito High School. College Fairs are free to students and their parents, and provide the opportunity to interact directly with representatives from over 50 colleges and universities.
Monday - Friday Summer Program. Services elevate math and college/career exploration. Elevate Math is a middle and high school program focused on building both math skills and student confidence. Elevate math helps prepare more students for success in college and careers. College/career exploration allows students to participate in a series of workshops, class activities and college tours to get exposure to college campuses and expectations.
We inform our students about financial aid opportunities and offer assistance through the application process. Financial aid outreach includes Cash for College workshops, classroom workshops, parent workshops, and one-on-one assistance.
South County Cal-SOAP offers college tours to our students, and for many, this will be their first step on a college campus. Exposing students to various campuses is an essential part of instilling a college-going culture. By providing this service, students experience first-hand what going to college is like and then are able to imagine what that will look like for themselves. We offer several individual school tours during the year and in late winter we take a giant tour of Southern California. During a 4-day adventure with their Cal-SOAP advisors, high school juniors visit college and university campuses, participate in evening workshops, and meet Cal-SOAP alumni throughout the experience.
We offer college workshops to prepare students as they pursue their higher education. These workshops are available for students and parents, and are usually announced through individual school sites. Workshops include financial aid, college 101, SAT preparation, career exploration and more.
“I’m Going to College” is designed to create an awareness of higher education opportunities in elementary school children. A 7-hour pre-college program curriculum designed for 5th graders is presented in 5th grade classrooms and culminates with an “IGTC Adventure” at UCSC where they are welcomed as honorary college students.
Cal-SOAP offers a free 6-week SAT/ACT prep program each spring. Working together with Crosswalk Education, Cal-SOAP staff assists 10th and 11th-grade students with both strategy and content. Khan Academy, Naviance, Collegeboard, ACT, practice tests, games, and academic tutoring make up the resources used.

Meet Our Team

Live Oak High School
South Valley Middle School and Christopher High School
Central High School
Ann Sobrato High School
Gilroy High School and Live Oak High School
San Benito High School
Ann Sobrato High School
Gilroy High School and Ascension Solorsano Middle School
Britton Middle School
Live Oak High School
Gilroy High School
Cal-SOAP Main Office
Christopher High School
Gilroy High School
Cal-SOAP Main Office
San Benito High School
Cal-SOAP Main Office
Gilroy High School
San Benito High School
Anzar High School and Ascension Solorsano Middle School
Mount Madonna High School
Ann Sobrato High School & Live Oak High School

Board Members

 Manny Barbara


Vice-President on Thought and Advocacy

Silicon Valley Education Foundation

Claire Grissom


Vice Principal SBHS

San Benito High School District

Erin C. Gemar

Secretary, Non-Voting

Project Director

South County Cal-SOAP Consortium

Deborah A. Flores, Ph.D 

Voting Member


Gilroy Unified School District 

Paula Carter

Voting Member

Interim Director of Admissions

CSU, Monterey Bay

Kathleen Moberg

Voting Member

Vice President of Student Services

Gavilan Community College

Beatrice Atkinson-Myers

Voting Member

Admissions Officer

University of California, Santa Cruz

Michele Huntoon

Voting Member


Aromas-San Juan Unified School District

Ramon Zavala 

Voting Member

Assistant Superintendent

Morgan Hill Unified School District

Alivia Shorter

Voting Member

Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies

Director of Diversity

Guadalupe Pacheco (non-voting)

Student Representative

Cal-SOAP Advisor

South County Cal-SOAP

Dia Hoshida

Non-Voting Partner

Middle School Service Specialist

South County Cal-SOAP Consortium