Downtown College Prep

Downtown College Prep

DCP prepares first-generation students for college success. We believe every student has the potenti That time is no longer.

There was a time when only 1 in 100 low-income students in San Jose graduated from college. Over 600 DCP alumni have made the dream of college a reality. They have made college success a newfound tradition in San Jose.

Operating as usual


We are delighted to announce that Denny’s are sponsoring our Alma Posada this year! They are a community staple, and have been proudly providing food and employment to our students and families for years. We are excited for them to take part in our annual Posada celebration, and are eager for what the future holds for us. Thank you, Denny’s!


We are honored to announce that the Masons of California are sponsoring our Alma Posada this year! They have been proud supporters of our students for the past decade, and their Investment in Success Scholarship has been vital to the college success of many of our students. We are thrilled to have them on campus to take part in the event, and to further cultivate community relationships. Thank you, Masons!


The El Primero High School Lady Lobos Volleyball team finished 13-1! With this, the ladies won first place in the Private School Athletics League South Division. This is the first time a team has finished first in league for DCP since 2003. Congratulations to the Lady Lobos!

Photos from Downtown College Prep's post 16/10/2023

This October, El Primero High School was awarded both the AP Honor Roll and AP Access awards! They won the AP Honor Roll award for welcoming and supporting students on their path to college success and readiness. They won the AP Access Award for their steadfast commitment to proliferating equitable education opportunities for socioeconomically disadvantaged students. Congratulations to the staff, teachers and students of EPHS for achieving these amazing awards!


DCP is excited to continue our partnership with the California Masonic Foundation! They have been generous supporters of our mission, and have been instrumental in helping our students get to and through college with their “Investment in Success” scholarship. They offer scholarships to students who demonstrate an active pursuit of education in spite of societal barriers to attain a higher education. Thank you California Masonic Foundation, and here’s to a flowering partnership!


DCP El Primero High School is hosting a College and Career Fair on Wednesday, November, 2023 from 10:30am-12:40pm. We are looking for career professionals to host a table to share information about their career, and share their journey to becoming an industry professional. The majority of the student population is first generation college bound students with a growing interest in the CTE field. Your first hand experience is a vital component of developing students’ interest and knowledge about being a CTE professional. If you are interested in participating, please register with the link below. Please share the link with anyone that you think may be interested.


During Alum Rock High’s Lobo Orientation, two representatives from Family Giving Tree showed up to provide free backpacks for two of our students. This means they will be able to start the school year with all the materials they need to succeed! Thank you Family Giving Tree for providing these materials, and helping to spread educational equity in our community!

Photos from Downtown College Prep's post 11/08/2023

We welcomed back students to all four campuses this Tuesday! It’s been an exciting first week filled with smiling students and eager teachers. It’s thrilling to see the spirited energy on all four campuses. Welcome back Lobos! Here’s to a thrilling 23-24 school year!


A message from the CEO:

In light of the recent Supreme Court decisions concerning Affirmative Action, student loan forgiveness, and LGBTQ+ rights, I feel compelled to share my thoughts as both the CEO of Downtown College Prep and an advocate for equitable access to education and fair treatment in society.

Yesterday's rulings have sent shockwaves through communities that have long struggled against the tides of systemic marginalization. The court's denial of student loan forgiveness amplifies the financial burden on countless individuals seeking higher education, widening the socio-economic divide and further deterring those unable to bear such an enormous financial strain.

Simultaneously, the decision to retract Affirmative Action policies overlooks the need for such measures to correct the systemic imbalances in our educational landscape. These policies are not about special privileges but leveling the playing field for those historically sidelined.

In addition, the court's decision allowing businesses to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community is a stark reminder that the fight for equality and justice in our society is far from over. This ruling strikes at the heart of human rights and undermines our progress toward creating a more inclusive and tolerant society.

These decisions share a common, concerning thread: they perpetuate inequity and exclusion, dividing rather than uniting us.

Despite these setbacks, we at Downtown College Prep remain unwavering in our commitment to creating an inclusive environment where every student—regardless of socioeconomic background, race, or sexual orientation—can thrive. We believe in the power of education to break down barriers and foster understanding.

We call upon all fellow educational institutions, policymakers, and society to continue fighting against discrimination, champion inclusivity, and ensure equity in education. Now, more than ever, it is essential that we stand together in solidarity to voice our dissent against these decisions and strive for a world where every individual has the right to education, respect, and dignity.

Our future must be one where every student can aspire to their fullest potential without fear of financial strain, systemic barriers, or discrimination.

Photos from Downtown College Prep's post 08/06/2023

This week, the 8th graders of Alum Rock and El Camino Middle School were celebrated during the annual “8th Grade Promotion.” It’s an event that celebrates the hard work, dedication and accomplishments of the 8th grade class. There are emotional and heartwarming speeches and stories from teachers and staff; optimistic valedictorian speeches about trials and triumph; and the unique-to-DCP rose ceremony, where students give out a rose to the people that helped them achieve this milestone. It’s a wonderful celebration full of smiles and tears of joy and pride. Congratulations to the promoting 8th grade class of 2023! You’re all exemplary DCP students, and we are so excited to see what you will accomplish in high school!


Our 5th and 8th graders are raising money for their end of year trip to Great America! Help support their trip by buying a discounted ticket to this Saturday's SJ Earthquakes vs FC Dallas soccer game! Use the code below to purchase your ticket, and support DCP students!


DCP is partnering with the Oakland A’s to provide equitable educational opportunities for historically underserved students. We are offering affordable tickets for families, friends and supporters of DCP, with a portion of each ticket donated back to DCP. Show your support by clicking on the link to buy a ticket, and help us end educational inequity!

Downtown College Prep DCP prepares first-generation students for college success. We believe every student has the potenti


On Wednesday May 24 from 5:00-8:00 pm Alum Rock High School will be throwing a Gala at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. There will be Folklorico Dances, Student Film with a Q&A, and many more exciting performances! Save the date, and come out to show your support for our amazing students and staff!

High school debate and America's toxic national discourse 04/05/2023

Fabiola Diaz Lopez- a Junior at El Primero High School- was highlighted in a Newsweek article for her exceptional involvement in a debate hosted by National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL) and Newsweek. NAUDL is a nonprofit that promotes debate programs in largely underserved public schools. Their mission is to encourage students to learn critical thinking, research, collaboration and communication skills. She expressed her adept debate skills by arguing in favor of Universal Basic Income, positing that it would bring security and offer an improved quality of life.

We are so proud of her stellar participation in this event. Her precocious ability to articulate and defend her arguments is inspirational, and is a testament to her commitment to education. Thank you Fabiola for positively representing DCP at the event!

Check out the full article here:

High school debate and America's toxic national discourse With a live, in-office debate, eight high school students with the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues proved that respectful discourse is possible.


We would like to give a huge, resounding THANK YOU to our amazing DCP staff. The dedication and passion you all exude is directly linked to the success of our students, community and organization. Thank you for constantly putting students first, ensuring that they have the tools to become future leaders and change makers. You all make up the backbone of the organization, and we are all very thankful for your unwavering contributions.


On May 24th from 5:00-8:00 pm, Alum Rock High School will be throwing a Gala at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. There will be Folklorico Dances, Student films, Q & A sessions, and many more exciting events. This is sure to be a fantastic and colorful Gala so be sure to save the date, and come out to help support your communities!


Graduation time is right around the corner, and we would like to take this opportunity to say how proud we are of the DCP class of 2023. Their disciplined and purposeful mentality allowed them to overcome unforeseen adversities, excel in and out of the classroom, and inspire peers, staff and teachers alike. We are so proud of you all, and are excited to see the many great things you will accomplish in the next chapters of your life!


March is the longest month of the academic year at DCP. It’s very fair that parents will end up just as stressed out as the students. To help alleviate this, we have listed some tips that can help alleviate some of that stress for parents.
1. Connect with fellow parents: Talk with other parents about the hardships of parenting, what they do to de-stress, or to just bond over common interest!
2. Seek opportunities for fun: Doing wholesome and lighthearted activities with friends and family is a great way to connect, laugh and de-stress!
3. Plan for the break: Plan something fun for the break that you can look forward to during tough times!


There’s no doubt that the college application process is time consuming and difficult. But, we are here to help! Here you will find tips that help simplify the process, and hopefully make it more exciting!

1.Organize your time
2.Write a self-reflective essay
3.Get an application fee waiver
4.Communicate with the college recruitment team
5.Focus on what excites you about going to college


A degree can be a bastion for self confidence. Getting a degree is not an easy process, so earning one will give you a greater sense of confidence and security in yourself and your abilities. Take pride in your achievement and shine like the star you are!


Once you get your degree, no one can take it away from you. It will forever be attached to your name, positively affecting your professional journey. This will make it easier to find a career, and easier to transition into a new career path. There’s no limit to who you can become!


Pancho can dance! 🐺🎶


College acceptances! 📣📣📣
DCP students get accepted and attend various CSUs, UCs, and private schools both in and out states 🏫🏫🏫
🎓 Congrats on the acceptances c/o 2023


Pancho the Lobo looking for a dance partner 🐺💃🕺


Happy birthday, Lili!
We appreciate all your work and dedication! 🧡💜🎂🎉


Roll call 📣📣📣 Seniors in the house!
Class of 2023 understood the assignment 🧡💜


Pancho the Lobo 🐺💜🧡


Since Fall 2000 DCP has started off events, gatherings and meetings with the unity clap. Almost 23 years later we continue that tradition. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

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Videos (show all)

Pancho can dance! 🐺🎶
Pancho the Lobo looking for a dance partner 🐺💃🕺
College acceptances! 📣📣📣DCP students get accepted and attend various CSUs, UCs, and private schools both in and out stat...
Pancho the Lobo 🐺💜🧡
Roll call 📣📣📣 Seniors in the house! Class of 2023 understood the assignment 🧡💜
Since Fall 2000 DCP has started off events, gatherings and meetings with the unity clap. Almost 23 years later we contin...
Happy birthday, Lili! We appreciate all your work and dedication! 🧡💜🎂🎉
Dance moves 🕺🎶
Pre-rally activities 💜🧡💜🧡💜🧡
First Fridays at DCP ARHS = school wide rally 🐺💜🧡