BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) --All 45 Theodore Roosevelt High School students enrolled in musician will.i.am's College Track program have graduated and are headed to college.
Will.i.am's program at the Boyle Heights school is called i.am College Track.
"Every single student that joined me and Laurene's program is graduating, going to college," will.i.am said.
Will.i.am is from Boyle Heights. He accepted a Hero Award for four years of dedication to this inaugural graduating class.
"He always tells us that we could do it and that he, you know, he was always going to be there for us," said Cynthia Erenas, a graduate.
Of the 45 students in the program, all 45 are headed to college.
"Only 5 percent of kids growing up in Boyle Heights graduated from four-year universities. We're out to change that, and these 45 kids say 'It doesn't matter your zip code, you can be successful,'" said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Graduate Belen Limon said she is the first in her family to go to college.
"Being the first in my family to go to college is definitely something big, and I want college to be an expectation for everybody in my family," she said.
Graduate Jesus Valdez said the program motivated and empowered him to succeed.
"So now I'm going to UC Merced and doing the impossible - defying the stereotypes," Valdez said.
Graduate Adela Lopez is headed to Whittier College with a $28,000 scholarship.
"When I was in eighth grade, I was ready to drop out of school," she described on stage during graduation, holding back tears.