By Daniella Molina
University of California, Berkeley students and volunteers arrived on campus to extend their “LA Raza Day” conference to Husky students on Saturday.
The Raza Recruitment and Retention Center began 34 years ago on the Berkeley Campus. The organization is dedicated to increasing the number of RAZA students who attend UC Berkeley. Their focus is on the low income and underprivileged. “A lot of the reason that minority don’t go on to higher education, is that the information is not readily available to them. We try to make the information available to them as much as possible”. said outreach coordinator Renee Torres.
Now on their second year of outreach, about two dozen Berkeley Raza students set up workshops and panels on Husky ground that went on from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students were asked to register, but walk-ins were not turned away. A lunch time barbeque was also provided for students and staff members.
Those who made it to “LA Raza Day” were able to attend several workshops, regarding extensive information about how to get into Berkeley. Some of the workshop included information about the IGETC process, financial aid and activism on campus.
Question-and-answer panels were also available after each workshop. Each panel consisted of current Berkeley students, who were there to answer and questions prospective student may have had. Key note speakers were both current students and alumni of Berkeley. The student’s speakers shared short stories about the trails they faced while applying to the university.
“We try to give them a perspective about college not normally given to them,” said Torres. The organization also outreaches to high school and middle school students. The Berkeley bunch looks for specific details such as low API scores and low income, assuring the opportunity available to anyone who is interested.
More than 70 students attended “LA Raza Day.” Even a small group of high school students mingled in the crowds. This day the Raza was providing everyone with a chance in college. “It was really inspiring. Personally, I can relate because a lot of them came from the same back round I do,” said ELAC student Juana Moran.
The visit to ELAC was part of the “Spring Break Outreach” program that consisted of visiting several schools in the southern California areas. They just wrapped up other outreach visit which took place in central and northern California areas. The Raza is on the move spreading information to places that are not usually in realm of college conversations.
They plan to visit ELAC next year and encourage students to register for the event. For more information about the RAZA Recruitment and Retention Center please visit www. www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~rrrc/