Story and Pictures by Irma Cervantes, CSUB Public Affairs Coordinator
Many middle and high school students spend that time of their life living day by day, with no worries about what tomorrow will bring. But for almost 3,000 Kern County youth, the future was all that was on their mind during the annual “College: Making it Happen” event held in March at CSUB.
“I’m already thinking about my career and what I want to do with my life, and this is a great event so I can get informed and prepared,” said Vicente Reyes, who is an 8th grader at Washington Middle School.
“College: Making It Happen Educational Forum!” is a program designed to communicate to families, community leaders, and school educators the importance of early academic and financial planning. The program aspires to educate middle/high school students and their parents about the choices available after high school graduation. The 2014 kicked off with an inspirational speaker who encouraged the students to “take.”
“Take time to invest in yourself, take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, and take charge of your future,” said keynote speaker, Alana Dionne Mathews from the California Energy Commission. “I didn’t come here today to inspire you to have a good life; I want you to have a great life.”
Throughout the day, students and their parents attended educational workshops with information on high school graduation requirements, financial aid and scholarship opportunities, and college preparation. Many classes were available in both English and Spanish, in an effort to reach the increasing Hispanic population, which was at 50% in Fall 2013 at CSUB.
“I want my daughter to go to a university. I want her to know there’s more than just high school,” said Graciela Cortez, who attended the event with her 7th grade daughter. “I want to learn what I can do as a parent so help open more doors for her so she be one of our future’s successful Latinos.”
The event also offered a resource fair, which included information on political representatives, CSUB organizations, and careers.
“Univision thinks it’s so important for students to prepare for college, and their future,” said Faith Flores, Administrative Manager for Univision Bakersfield, the event media sponsor. “We have specific platforms we focus on, and one of them is education. Through this event, we are able to share with the public that we’re a partner for them to help them advance in their education.”
“College: Making it Happen” was sponsored by the following organizations: Southern San Joaquin Valley Cal-SOAP Consortium, California Student Aid Commission, CSU Chancellor’s Office, and CSUB.