eric shaw

Eric D. Shaw

Eric D. Shaw is the Director of Housing and Community Development for the City of San Francisco. He graduated from UCLA in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies. Eric first became involved with AAP in 1994, and continues to be an active supporter of the program.


How did you first get involved with AAP?
Eric: My journey and connection to AAP started pre-Prop 209. I decided to seek out a program on campus that could assist with all the things I needed to stay in school and on track. During my orientation to AAP, I immediately felt the welcome and safe environment that they had created. They really made it special for you and I’ll never forget that.

What does it mean to you to be a part of AAP’s history, which now spans back 50 years?
Eric: AAP helped me immensely with my school work. It’s a special place that helped me navigate those hard moments. Along with that, the history of AAP has a deeper meaning for me as my mother was a part of the program as well. The program has the authentic intention of helping and focusing on people of color. I’ve started thinking more about what I am doing to continue the legacy of the program. I still have memories of sitting in the courtyard as an undergraduate and I’m thankful for the time I was able to spend there.

What was your favorite aspect of being a part of AAP?
Eric: The resources and community. AAP staff were patient and provided services like tutoring and peer counseling. They taught me how to think through and learn how to solve problems. It was an additional place to learn and grow at UCLA. You had the space to learn and understand from other students. The sense of community at Campbell Hall is almost indescribable.

Pictured: Alfred Herrera, MPA, Assistant Vice Provost and Director of the Center for Community College Partnerships

What was your AAP experience like and how did it affect your life?
Eric: My major mainly kept me in South campus, but AAP was a reason to head to North campus and connect with fellow minority students. I was able to get tutoring from students who had my same interests and looked just like me. That had a larger impact on my life than I realized at the time. I felt like I was not alone at UCLA. I now reflect and think about staff members, like Alfred Herrera who changed my life. AAP is still a focal point on campus for the black and brown alumni of UCLA. We know that we have that shared experience of AAP and moments in time.

Why is it important to have a community and resource like AAP on UCLA’s campus?
Eric: To have a place where you can share values and have a safe space to share those values and feelings, especially with other students of color is so important for students. Students need to know they are supported, problems are solvable, and that they are smart and worthy of education at UCLA.

Lisa Montes

Dr. Lisa Montes

Dr. Montes is a partner of Southern California Permanente Medical Group in Pediatrics, Instructor of REACH curriculum at Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, MiMentor mentor, LMSA West Advisory Board CIO of Alliance Mentorship – non-profit that supports, and is near completion of her certification as an International Coaching Federation Associate Certified Coach. She graduated from UCLA in ’92 in Psychobiology and became active with AAP in 1987.


How did you first get involved with AAP?
Dr. Montes: AAP in 1987 was an inclusive family and it was the heart for students of color.  When I arrived as a Freshman Summer Program (FSP) student,  I was instructed by the only Latina I knew on campus, to head to North Campus.   I was able to quickly build a network already built-in for me at Campbell Hall.  AAP had only graduated four classes in 1987 but to me it was an “institution” and the culture was clear – You Belong.

What does it mean to you to be a part of AAP’s history, which now spans back 50 years?
Dr. Montes: What has been created is remarkable and I am grateful to be a product of the program from its early years.  Wow, it’s hard to be believe that I was a dot in AAP’s early history.  The program has made an incredible effort to make this a place for student success despite a sometimes poor educational foundation.  My family believed in public education and remaining within rich diverse communities such as Pomona, and East LA.  I brought AAP my experience and at times my tears and struggles and AAP never let me down nor ever made me  feel that I could not do it.  Now looking back, I am proud to have fought for my education and can proudly say that AAP was my wing-person

What was your favorite aspect of being a part of AAP?
Dr. Montes: As a student, I truly appreciated the tutoring and peer learning resources provided. I needed help with my classes to grasp concepts and prepare for what was next. Many times I would rush to tutoring with a uncontrollable feeling of “chaos”  and once in my seat I knew that I could pull it together.  I remember Campbell Hall as a warm, inviting, and inclusive place of learning but also bonding. I always naturally felt included and welcome and there were always peers to connect with and share those aha moments in the tutoring lab.

How has AAP affected your life?
Dr. Montes: In many ways, AAP let me be me. I worked hard and stayed excited about class content and upcoming peer tutoring sessions. It helped me find my place at UCLA and in life. It also instilled in me that you have to finish what you start. I worked hard to be where I am today and AAP is a part of that story.

Why is it important for students at UCLA to have a community and a resource like AAP?
Dr. Montes:  All students regardless of identity should have a space to be supported and grow. They should also have a commitment from the university to be supported. All students deserve this.

What would your message be to someone who is considering making a donation to AAP, but is still unsure about the impact it would have?
Dr. Montes:  Students need this program. We should support what the students deserve and expect from UCLA and AAP. Through our support we let them know that their worth is important and noticed. California is very diverse, so a program like this is vital. I give back because this organization deserves part of my success. I remembered how AAP has helped me as an undergraduate and that was what eventually helped me get into medical school and inspired me to take advantage of volunteer opportunities where I could be the most impactful and give back to my community.

What do you hope for the future of AAP?
Dr. Montes: My hope is that UCLA and AAP remain flexible and committed to supporting communities of intersectional identities and continue to understand that each community is different and may require different support. We have to think about what student’s challenges will be in the future so we may prepare now as much as we can.  That means listening to students now about their challenges and needs and allowing their voices to be heard and a part of the plan for the future.