Disadvantaged families tour campus, seek new opportunities
THE SANTA CLARA
May 22, 2014
Inadequate educational facilities, the threat of violence on the streets and a lack of mentors are all problems that plague adolescents who live in impoverished neighborhoods.
The possibility of attending a four-year university is often out of the question for these young people. Members of the Santa Clara community are trying to change this reality.
Every November, the club hosts Raza Day in its efforts to connect with disadvantaged youths. MEChA invites hundreds of high school students from San Jose to Santa Clara. They have the chance to explore buildings, speak with Santa Clara students and gain insight into college life.
“One of our pillars is education,” said Mayra Gonzalez, a member of MEChA. “Part of that is reaching out to elementary, middle and high schools to show students not only that Santa Clara is a place that exists, but that they can actually get here.”
Parents of visiting students have a chance to speak with university admissions officers and other parents who come from similar backgrounds.
“Most of their questions are about financial aid,” said Gonzalez. “We just tell them our story and explain that Santa Clara is very generous. If you come from a low-income household, but have good grades in high school, it is possible to come here.”
In addition to Raza Day, MEChA hosts five smaller campus tours throughout the year.
On Friday, with the assistance of the club, the Ignatian Center’s outreach program Thriving Neighbors will be welcoming approximately 100 young students and 25 parents from Washington Open Elementary School in Santa Clara.
Contact Nicolas Sonnenburg at firstname.lastname@example.org , or call (408) 554-4852.