The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Resources fair helps high school boys, men of color

Despite starting late because of rain, the Boys and Men of Color Resources Fair brought many people together Nov. 13-14 in the Student Center at City College.

The event, sponsored by City College’s Brown Issues, featured music, stories and resources to help hundreds of Chicano/Latino high schoolers make their way to college.

Sol Collective speaker Dre T got the crowd going with call and response.

“You got something to say,” he shouted.

The audience responded: “Say something!”

The audience seemed interested in Dre T’s songs, as many people bobbed their heads along with the theme of the music.

Manuel Favela told a moving story about a bird finding his true identity, a metaphor for how people shouldn’t let the labels they’ve been given tell them who they are.

“We get put into these boxes, these labels,” Favela said. “We start believing them ourselves. So I advise all of you to let out those peacock feathers, and don’t worry about what others say.”

Fong Tran got the students up and moving in a group activity, having them interact with someone new and telling them one thing about themselves. All of the students participated and looked like they were having fun.

Fong then gave a moving speech, using a popular anime character named Dragon Ball Z as a reference.

“Our parents, they were Super Saiyans,” Fong said. “As you go out on your journeys in search of your own seven dragon balls and embrace your legacy, you will finally be able to grant your families their one wish.”

Resource tables were set up for students to get more information about Sol Collective, ARI Communication Resources, La Familia, MESA, E.O.P.S., UC Davis, The Hub, Brown Issues and more.

John Cornejo and Adolfo Velasquez, members of Brown Issues, ran the group’s resource table for high school students. Brown Issues is an organization focused on educating men and women of the Latino community on the issues of gangs, drugs and poverty. They also go to high schools, like Burbank and American Legion, and counsel students.

“A lot of us were in that situation and didn’t have that helping hand to pull us up, so we want to provide that,” said Cornejo.

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Brown Issues meets every Thursday in RHS 174 from noon to 1 p.m. Sol Collective is a non-profit organization for people interested in creatively expressing themselves with things like poetry, rap, and singing. They also have a Facebook page and if anyone who likes it can make free Skull Candy. Sol Collective meets Sundays from 6-10 p.m. at 2574 21st St.

Youth Employment Service specialists Kathy Gonzalez and Ruth Cervantes ran the table for ARI Community Resources, a non-profit agency that offers free community services. ARI works with youths no longer in high school as a way to provide work experience. ARI offers GED classes, employment for adults who are looking for work, ESL classes and citizenship classes. The group also works with refugees.

“Anything you need help with, really,” Gonzalez said. City College’s Student Senate and Associate Council were also present at the fair.

“We advocate on behalf of students,” said Lincoln Scott, a representative for the Student Senate at the event. Scott said that anyone can join the Senate as long as the person meets the unit requirements of being enrolled in at least five units with a 2.0 GPA and is enrolled at City College.

EOPS was at the fair to offer help. The group focuses on counseling work with students affected by social and economic issues, such as students who assessed into lower assessment classes, who have income issues, and who are former foster youth.

“We work with African American males, Latino males, single parents and those on assistance,” said Ken Times, a counselor for EOPS.

There are over 2,000 students at City College enrolled in the program. EOPS helps with planning education. Counselors meet with the students at least three times each semester.

“Some of the ways we assist our students other than counseling is that our students get book assistance from us,” Times said. “Our students also receive priority enrollment. It’s called Zero Priority Enrollment.”

The statewide EOPS program throughout California community colleges reaches out to people of color and collaborates with surrounding community resources.

Angelica Garcia, one of the representatives for the Puente Project table, said the Puente Project is a transfer program open to all students at City College. It offers counseling, mentoring and writing assistance. Students are paired with a Puente counselor until they transfer from City
College, as well as with a professional mentor during their first semester, who provides resources for the students and their families.

Part of the Puente program requires students to enroll in English Writing 100 and 300 classes as a way to help them build their writing skills, as well as to enroll in the Puente section of Human Career Development.

The Puente Project helps students learn strategies for college success, improve their reading and writing skills, and create successful transfer plans. At the end of the spring semester, the Puente students participate in a family gathering and celebration.

“I want to be an entrepreneur and a chef, but also an inspirational speaker, a triple threat,” said Matthew Germany, a senior at Kennedy High who attended the event.

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