Minority Conferences Aim to Inspires

The Black Student Conference (BSC) at De Anza College, which focused on black students’ success, took place on Tuesday, February 13. The Latin Student Conference (LSC), which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 18 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., will have a similar objective.

Both primarily focus on teaching minority students the importance of academic excellence and how to better equip themselves to succeed in life.

Local community college have been increasingly trying to connect with black and Latino communities. One of De Anza’s goals for 2008 is to focus on and promote the success of these minority students within the school environment. The conferences were organized this year in response to a mandate from the chancellor of De Anza and are part of the college’s new outreach program.

According to counselor Jacob Larin and Black Student Union (BSU) adviser Kalinda Price, some minority students have limited access to information on why college is important and how to increase chances  of getting in. As a result, both conferences aim to increase these students’ opportunity for academic and life success.

“The students who participated [in the BSC] will feel like they’re closer to being able to succeed,” Larin said. “They can bring the information they learn from the conference back to their own community as help, motivation and advice.”

According to BSU President sophomore Preshia Washington, there were many speakers from De Anza at the BSC “who wanted to ensure that black students considered education as a first priority by the time they left.”

Students who went to the BSC participated in a campus tour, workshops and student panels that focused on studying, working hard and building life skills. Black history was also discussed through the showing of various video clips, presentations and slides. Similar events are also expected to take place at the LSC.

“I was proud,” junior Ashley Isaac said. “It have me a new outlook on black people and what we can do.”

All black students from Santa Clara County were welcome to attend. About 400 to 500 students from different schools throughout the county attended. According to Preshia, the school had the largest group of students who attending the BSC.

About 350 Latino students are expected to attend the LSC. There is space for 30 students from the school who want to go, but priority is given to seniors. Interested students should sign up with counselor Perla Pasallo.