Pacific Islander families got a taste of university life at CSU Dominguez Hills, while learning about the steps one takes to go to college.
The “Journey to Success: Pacific Islander” college fair was held June 4 on the CSUDH campus and produced by the California State University’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative. The event attracted hundreds of Tongan, Samoan, Marshallese and Hawaiian residents from Carson, Compton, Long Beach, Los Angeles and Orange County. Parents, students and elders in attendance were encouraged by State Sen. Ted Lieu and Assembly Members Warren Furutani and Mike Eng to make college a family goal. The elected officials shared stories about their own academic and financial difficulties as students, and their efforts to overcome obstacles to graduate from college.
CSU Vice Chancellor Garrett Ashley welcomed the plenary session attendees. Ashley said the purpose of the initiative is to improve college access and graduation achievement for Asian American and Pacific Islander students from underserved communities.
Workshops focused on college admission, how to afford college, what parents need to know about college-bound children, and peer-to-peer discussions about college life, led by students of Pacific Islander background. Participants also received “How to Get to College” information brochures printed in English, Tongan and Samoan.
Event chair Mitch Maki, acting provost at CSUDH, and staff from the Chancellor’s Office and CSU campuses at Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Los Angeles and Long Beach worked with community leaders and volunteers to create an authentic Pacific Islander flavor for the college fair.