On a bright Saturday in March, UCSD’s Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) and partners brought over 350 middle school and early high school students to campus for a College Expo/Expo Universitario event, which introduced students to UCSD and the potential of college. Participants in workshops and tours included students and immigrant parents from across Southern California, and the program was largely bilingual.
Afterwards in “The Panther’s Tale,” a student newsletter from McKinley Elementary School in El Centro, CA (Imperial County), participating students quoted a keynote address by CREATE Director and UCSD Education Studies professor Dr. Mica Pollock. A total of 68 participants from McKinley had included three teachers, 35 6th grade students, and their 30 parents. In their newsletter, students also thanked Thomas Gilkison, EAOP Imperial County Region Assistant Director, who helped organize the visit. A student wrote:
“As I discovered the educational life at UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN DIEGO, I realized that we can do and become anything we desire, if we dedicate ourselves. As I heard a speech from Dr. (Pollock), a university professor, she inspired me with the words she said. She said ‘no person is better than any other person, and no group is smarter than any other group.’ She also said you can be a person who knows what is happening or someone who says ‘what is happening.’ Her grandpa always told her ‘don’t forget who you are’ and you will figure out what to do based on your family history. Never lose faith. ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELVES, PANTHERS! Maybe one day you’ll be up on a university’s stage inspiring others, too! Thank you Mr. Gilkison for the invitation and opportunity of taking the Panthers to UCSD!”
Students and parents in attendance said they were elated by the experience at UCSD. Students will be attending Kennedy Middle School next academic year.