Caption: Access Program staff (l to r) Ana Mora, Franki Gregor, Pam Campbell, Karee Hamilton, Rachel Barksdale, Heather Ostash, and Erica Woodberry, and Jeff Welsh (back).
The theme for the 41st Annual Access Programs Awards ceremony held on Friday, April 29th was “The Future is Bright.”
Student speaker Coral Ashlock from the Ridgecrest campus shared how focus and determination kept her on track with her schooling during the pandemic. Matthew Guntert from the Eastern Sierra College Center (ESCC) credited all the personal ways Counselors, tutors, lap-top loans, wi-fi, and a variety of communications and programs sought to engage students remotely as very helpful to students and their achievements.
Special recognition went to Access Program Students of the Year: Taylir De Stefano, Ridgecrest; Jeanna Hill, Kern River Valley; Yoav Golan, ESCC; Robin Montero, Tehachapi; and Misty Franklin, Online.
Caption: CC student Taylir De Stefano named Access Program Student of the Year for the Ridgecrest Campus.
Outstanding Faculty of the Year for Access Programs went to Dr. Tyson Huffman, Professor and Learning Assistance Center Coordinator.
Others recognized at the event included Special Services United Club Graduate of the Year: Tiffany Dibble; Peer Mentors Nicolas Ellis, Courtney Bowen, and Joyce Chung; Study Hall Tutors Jeanine Halbrook, and Amelia Plumhoff.
“Our students, who overcome a variety of significant barriers to complete degrees and certificates, were celebrated and honored in a personal and meaningful way with their friends and family there to celebrate with them. Thank you students, and thank you ACCESS staff,” said Heather Ostash VP of Student Services. “Every student has a story, but yours are truly inspiring and will surely encourage others to aspire to excellence!”
Your future is bright. For all the times of late-night studies, lack of sleep, and sacrifice of enjoyment, your reward is here! -Anonymous
Access Programs include five state-funded programs dedicated to helping and assisting community college students who are faced with additional barriers in obtaining their education. The programs are Extended Opportunities Programs and Services (EOPS), Cooperative Agency Resources for Education (CARE), Foster Youth (NextUp), Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS, and the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWorks).
Services offered depend on the programs an individual is qualified to receive: this includes an assigned support team and counselor, and many consist of book vouchers, transportation passes, networking and leadership training, assigned Learning Assistant, the High Tech Center, interpreters, the Student Services United Club, social activities, taped books, and a career decision-making process. All services are individualized to meet the needs of the Access Programs students.
Caption: Peer Mentor Nicolas Ellis, Erica Woodberry, Ana Mora, and Rachel Barksdale.