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As a student at Kaiser High School in Fontana two years ago, Melissa Morfin-Acevedo bombed her SAT test, scoring in the bottom third percentile nationally.

The daughter of an immigrant single mother with a fifth-grade education, Morfin-Acevedo lived below the poverty line and couldn’t afford test prep tutors. She took the 8 a.m. test exhausted, having returned home from her theater job past midnight that day.

But her 4.1 GPA helped her win admission to UC Riverside — and today the second-year student in political science is thriving in the honors program, earning mostly A’s, and preparing for a career in law or public service.

“The SAT score does not reflect your future possible success in college,” she said. “If you want it, you can do it.”

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