In the Dreamers Success Center, hour-long webinars were held Oct. 14-18 during the Undocumented Student Week of Action, with focus on sharing guidance and inspiration for the well-being of undocumented students. As opposed to the center’s afternoon webinars, the one geared for the students, the 11 o’clock webinars were to help spread helpful ideas to educators, faculty, and members of the community who wish to assist the undocumented student population with school.
On Monday the 14th, the webinar hosted was called “Demystifying Dreamer resource centers,” and attendees heard discussion on the use of Dreamer centers and what they can do to help.
Tuesday, the subject of the webinar was “Protecting student data”. That webinar discussed the tricky situation of student information in today’s digital age. Students face a situation where their information is needed in order to provide services, yet just writing their names in the ledgers of public establishments could attract the attention of government organizations like ICE who may use it against them. The Dreamer Success Center has systems to address that issue and hold student privacy as a high priority. The webinar discussed the many ways to keep their students private.
On Wednesday, the center was host to a webinar regarding the formation of equity task forces and the gathering of financial support for student programs. Attendees were introduced via a live online connection to Dr. Cynthia Mosqueda of El Camino College.
The webinar was titled, “pursuing sustainable funding for undocumented student programming.”
Joining Mosqueda was Eric Lara, a dean and student equity officer. El Camino College is in southern California and has been setting the example of how to fund and operate Dreamer programs in today’s schools.
El Camino college hosts 34,000 students, 1,000 of which are undocumented.
Mosqueda said that a task force was created to manage the unique needs of the undocumented student population. The resources mustered for them would offer everything from legal aid to hot meals.
Eighty percent of the funding for the program came from equity funds from the government (AB19) and the rest may come from a variety of helpful grants such as the Student Support and Success Program, DACA renewals, and locally funded donations and initiatives.
On Thursday, the topic was “Safe Spaces” in which the discussion turned to the emotional well-being of undocumented students. Their unique struggle causes varying amounts of grief and worry. The Dreamer Success Center leads the way in this regard, offering professional counselors, legal aid, food and a space in which they can express themselves openly.
Friday, the topic was an exploration of the new CCC training module for undocumented student support.
Marisol Jacquez-Hernandez is the center’s resource specialist and greets visitors to the center. She kindly explains the center’s resources to all who enter, whether they are in need of assistance, or just curious. Upon asking her if there was anything she wanted to share with those who have not visited the center, she said, “I invite educators to visit the center and become an ally. The best thing we can do as educators is to offer help. Undocumented students have more barriers than other students. We can help them break those barriers. We need to be educated ourselves.”
The Dreamers Success Center is room 201 in the Holt building.