The News Site of Fresno City College

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The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The Undocumented Student Action Week Brings Awareness and Resources At Fresno City College

Photo by: Marco A. Hernandez
Alonso Garcia moderating the undocumented student panel during the Undocumented Student Action Week event at Fresno City College’s Old Administration Building Auditorium on Oct. 16, 2023.

The Foundation for California Community Colleges brought its first in-person event of the 7th Annual Undocumented Student Action Week to spread awareness and resources at the Fresno City College’s Old Administration Building Auditorium on Oct. 16.

Gerardo (Jerry) Reyes, a member of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, is a Reedley College student who presented in this event to promote his success as an undocumented student.

Reyes thinks opportunities are not limited and it is not impossible to go to college as a undocumented student.

“As long as there is a will, there is a way,” Reyes said.

Reyes hopes the next Annual Undocumented Student Action Week can bring more undocumented student voices.

“I paved the way for myself and other students as well,” Reyes said. “I know I am not the only student that is going to come through this system.”

Alonso Garcia, senior program manager for the Foundation for California Community Colleges, explains the foundation brought immigration services to 115 brick and mortar college campuses.

“All the services are free and confidential,” Garcia said. “The services continue on with them if they’re seeking a longer term or longer support regardless of when the affiliation ends with the California community colleges.”

Resource vendors were present at the event including Carcen, the Reedley College Dream Center, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and First Gen Empowerment.

Nancy Jodaitis, director of higher education at Immigrants Rising, attended the event as a resource vendor for undocumented students looking for higher education or entrepreneurship.

“There is in-state intuition, the California Dream Act is still in place, scholarships are still available, and you do not need DACA to be able to access college,” Jodaitis said.

Jodaitis wants undocumented students to know there is funding from Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the California Dream Act as well.

There was an undocumented student panel consisting of a few Fresno City College students, including Reyes.

Each student talked about their experiences and cited their parents as a trustful and supporting resource.

The students mentioned how services can do outreach to help undocumented students such as simplifying applications.

Reyes believes colleges can make a community for undocumented students to bring a welcoming environment.

For the rest of the week, there were virtual panels and other in-person events such as meet-and-greets, workshops, lessons in creating a teaching environment, a trip to UC Berkeley, and more.

For information on the immigration services, visit FindYourAlley.

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