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PortSide: Keeping Up With The Port Of Long Beach

As a senior community relations specialist at the Port of Long Beach, Alejandra Güitrón oversees the port’s educational outreach. A child of Mexican immigrants and a first-generation high school graduate, Güitrón said she still remembers how lost she felt as her high school graduation approached. “I was first generation, I wasn’t ready for college, I didn’t know what direction to go in,” she recounted. Güitrón credits her senior year career advisor for setting her on the right trajectory, enabling her to take on the role she has today, opening up opportunities for the next generation. Leading the port’s internship and scholarship program as well as the Academy for Global Logistics program at Cabrillo High School, Güitrón said she feels fortunate to see her work come to fruition first-hand. “My job is rewarding in the sense that, a lot of times people do the work, but they don’t really see the impact of it,” she explained. “We do the work, we do the programs, and I’m already seeing the impact.” The results are significant, she noted: at the start of the port’s high school academy program in 2016, 6% of Cabrillo students were enrolled in advanced placement (AP) classes; now that percentage has increased to 17%.“It really feels good to see that what we’re doing is changing lives,” she said.

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