Umoja Students Tour HBCU’s

Over spring break, Umoja Community at Bakersfield College offered students a life-changing trip to visit Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). 

(From left Eryka, Laila, Dr. Parks, and Jordyn)

 

By Paula L. Parks, Ph.D.

Over spring break, Umoja Community at Bakersfield College offered students a life-changing trip to visit Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). 

They toured colleges in Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, and Pennsylvania as well as two museums and historic sites. Colleges included Virginia State University, Cheyney University, Lincoln University, Bowie State University, Morgan State University, and Howard University. 

(the BC students with Dr. Parks left and Heritage Empowered CEO Dr. Karen McCord right)

Said Jordyn Davis: “This trip changed how I view my college education for the better. . . It made me excited to learn again.” 

Umoja (which means unity) Community is a program designed for African-American students which has tripled their success, graduation, and transfer from Bakersfield College to four-year universities. Dr. Paula L. Parks, who founded the program in 2015, is the coordinator. The program offers academic counseling, courses required to graduate, cultural activities, motivational and educational trips, leadership opportunities, a study space, and mentoring. 

(the students from Bakersfield College and Las Positas Colleges at the MLK Memorial in Washington, D.C.)

Laila Diaz, a studio art major, said her favorite college is Bowie State because the campus buildings have a more modern feel and the art department is strong.

All three BC students said they enjoyed making connections with students from Las Positas College and visiting the cultural sites. 

“I feel like so much more is possible. . .  I’m more prepared for my upcoming years in college,” added Jordyn, who wants to be an attorney. 

(Both community college groups at the Smithsonian African American Museum in Washington, DC. They are wearing their shirts from the tour company, Heritage Empowered.)

To learn more about Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP), see https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/student/aai/umoja. You can reach Dr. Parks, Umoja Community Coordinator at [email protected] or at 661-232-0191. 

 

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