Que Ondee Sola engages the Next Generation of Leaders by Alyssa Villegas
On Tuesday April 8th and Thursday April 10th, Que Ondee Sola (QOS) hosted a teach in and their 9th Annual Plantando Semillas at NEIU. On Tuesday, five classes allowed QOS and former political prisoner Luis Rosa to speak about Oscar Lopez Rivera and the campaign for his liberation. Each class was extremely active and engaged in the presentations. Later in the week, QOS and the College Pipeline brought 24 high school seniors from Roberto Clemente Community Academy to the NEIU main campus for a shadow day. The students were paired up with college students in their intended majors and were able to participate in real college classrooms and in campus life. The shadow day culminated in presentations fromLatino/Latin American Studies (LLAS) director Christina Gomez, former Puerto Rican political prisoner Luis Rosa, and Puerto Rican student activist Emanuel Cruz about the importance of becoming active and political in education and the importance of the LLAS major and minor. After the discussion, students enjoyed a musical performance by Emanuel Cruz. The students were blown away by their experience at NEIU. Students vocally expressed their desire to attend NEIU during the Fall of 2014!
2nd Annual Shadow Day at Columbia College by Matt McCanna
On April 9, the College Pipeline program at Roberto Clemente had its 2nd Annual Shadow Day at Columbia College Chicago (CCC). Where students interact with the college campus, and build relationships with mentors at CCC. Throughout the school year the CCC portion of the College Pipeline has worked with 13 students to build a portfolio that consists of college applications, scholarship applications, and resumé’s among other elements that will help prepare them for their first year in college. What makes this Shadow Day different than a regular tour to a university is that each high school students is paired up with one college student/mentor for a personalized tour of the campus. The students are able to get an up close look at classes, class sizes, as well as meet teachers and students in the departments they are interested in pursuing. After 3 hours of experiencing college life, the culminated in aspecial history class hosted by the Multi Cultural Affairs Office at CCC. Gerardo Galvan, Latino Coordinator on campus, welcomed the students with an introduction on the significance of cultural spaces in the university setting and explained the many resources CCC offers for students of color. After screening the educational documentary Precious Knowledge (2011), Puerto Rican singer/song writer Emanuel Cruz spoke about the importance of understanding your culture and history to make meaningful and impactful expressions of art.
The experiences of being on a college campus for an extended period of time, and connecting with real college students that come from the same culture as they do is a key element in building a culture of excellence for students at Roberto Clemente Community Academy. Also, it relieves anxiety that the students might encounter their first year of college after high school. While at the same time build support networks the students can use when they are having difficulties. On the bus ride back from the Shadow Day pipeline student Beatris Osorio said “I felt like a college student” while D’Angelo Smith exclaimed “I’m in love with this campus, the people, the buildings, the atmosphere.” It was a wonderful and meaningful day for the students that will provide clarity in their decision making process.
Congratulations to the following College Pipeline students for their admittance into & scholarship from Columbia College Chicago:
Open Door Scholarship for $34,000
Trustee Award for $24,000
Your hard work and persistence has paid off, keep it up!