Our Stories

How it all began

Dr. Victor Rios and Jaime Carias, M.P.P. battled against adversity and accomplished the unbelievable–they acquired graduate degrees from some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, UC Berkeley and USC. Along the way they learned the tools of what it takes to motivate and equip at-promise young people to succeed in their social and educational lives. In addition they have conducted empirical research on best practices in youth development, education, mentoring, and college success. They now aspire to bring CSS to your organization to share with students, parents, educators, and community members how they were able to successfully defy those odds and the evidence-based curriculum they have developed.Their motto’s, “success will not come knocking at your door” and “believe in yourself and you will accomplish the unbelievable” inspires participants to search for that motivation and drive that will fuel their journey to achieve educational, personal, and academic success.

Both Jaime and Victor grew up in two of the nation’s most dangerous cities: South Central Los Angeles and Oakland, CA. Although they grew up in opposite sides of the state of CA, they both experienced a young life of poverty, hopelessness, and constant violence in their communities. The “invisible fence” was set around their communities, which made it much harder to get out and much easier to remain. Growing up they both encountered obstacles that put them in situations to make choices: the good choice, the cool choice, or the bad choice. Now they share these experiences with students, parents, and educators through their highly motivational and very popular Breaking Obstacles and Cradle, Classroom, College, Career curriculum’s. Along the way they encountered good parenting, caring teachers, and relevant adults that inspired them and helped them change their lives. Dr. Rios was able to earn a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley the number one ranked public university in the nation. Jaime was able to earn a Master of Public Policy from the Sol Price School of Public Policy, a top-ten ranked policy school, at the University of Southern California.