By: Juan Calvillo
East Los Angeles College offers specialized services for students ranging from athletes, undocumented to LGBTQ+ students.
ELAC’s One Zone, run by coordinator and student services assistant Corena Lynn Wood, has various programs under its umbrella. One Zone held a mixer for these student service programs highlighting the benefits in each area. Wood said the LGBTQ+ Center is new on campus.
The pandemic put a halt to the center’s opening, but they made it online. Students will be able to use the center as a safe space. The center has books for students to look through as well. It is located in classroom F5-204.
Golden Sheard, program coordinator for the UMOJA Program at ELAC, said “Umoja” is a Swahili word for unity and is used in terms of community for the program.
The program’s goal is to increase the feeling of community among African-American students and the other students at ELAC.
The program will provide academic and student support with book and computer loans. There will be a focus on transferable classes like math and English classes for black students.
The program will officially launch next year, but is still providing limited resources. More information can be found on the programs Instagram @umujoaelac.
Student athletes can access services through the Husky Athlete Support Center, located in C2-124B in the bungalow area. Athletes can find support on food, financial aid and learning about self-advocacy.
All students can attend the financial aid workshops, but they are made with athletes in mind.
Alouette Cervantes-Salazar, coordinator for the Husky Athlete SupportCenter, said all student athletes were welcome. “It’s really, really important that people know that even if it’s a small team that you are on, you’re still an athlete, and you’re still a student and you’re still a human being. We’re going to be here to support you,” Cervantes-Salazar said.
Justine Miranda, scholar ambassador at the Dream Resource Center, said the center provides a safe area for all students, but focuses on the undocumented. The focus is on providing immigration services to ELAC students.
The Central American Resource Center, CARECEN, works alongside the DRC when it comes to providing students with legal advice.
Students can also find help in filling out financial aid, getting in touch with counselors and other services.
“Coming up on (Friday) the Dream Act application is going to be open. So students are welcome to reach out to us so that we can help them to complete their application,” Miranda said. Students can use the live chat from 9 a.m. to noon on https://www.elac.edu/Student-Services/Dream- Resource-Centers/DRC-Services.
They can also email the DRC at email@example.com. The Education Justice Scholars program launched during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Elizandro Umana is the coordinator for the program. The program works specifically with formerly incarcerated ELAC students and is focused on making sure they feel supported returning to a learning institution. This is done through case management for each student. The program has a strong partnership with Homeboy Industries which gives it support for the students.
Homeboy Industries is an organization that helps rehabilitate former gang members and give them employment or substance abuse rehabilitation. For more information, email the Education Justice Scholars at firstname.lastname@example.org. Student services, and the help the department has is, important for students to understand.
Miguel Duenas, vice president of student services, said students need to be informed about the things that are available to them. “It is important to have that understanding. Understand how to support our students, how to support each other and embrace each other and uplift us as a community,” Duenas said.