By: Natalie L. Camacho
For the third consecutive year, thousands of community members gathered at California State University, Northridge for the annual Feria de Educación. The collaboration between the California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office, Univision Los Angeles and CSUN, Feria featured free books for attendees, a reading garden, educational workshops and information booths on Oct. 20 in front of the Delmar T. Oviatt Library.
To kick off the event, CSUN Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students William Watkins welcomed attendees.
“A college education opens doors to careers that are rewarding personally and professionally, and provides students with the skills and abilities they need to go back to their communities and serve as leaders,” Watkins said. “Today’s event will provide you with information about accessing educational opportunities that can transform the experiences of families and entire communities.”
Feria aims to empower, help and inspire the Latino community to get a college education, and beyond. With this mission, the Molina Foundation and Consul General of Mexico for Los Angeles each donated thousands of books for attendees to take home.
“It’s a pleasure for us to be able to support Feria,” said Cynthia Prida, a representative from the Consul General of Mexico for Los Angeles.
This year marked the event’s tenth anniversary in the Los Angeles area. Luis Patiño, president and general manager of Univision Los Angeles, thanked those in attendance and reminded them of Feria’s principal goal.
“[The purpose of Feria] is to give the community access to the information and tools that everyone needs to succeed,” he said, in Spanish. “We created this Feria to support and motivate more Latinos to graduate from high school and pursue a college degree — and if you see the current statistics, it’s working.”
To help open doors for Latino students, Wells Fargo — one of the event sponsors — donated four $2,500 scholarships to students enrolled in colleges and universities in Southern California.
Stephanie Cuba, a freshman at CSUN majoring in journalism with an emphasis in public relations, received one of those scholarships.
“[Getting this scholarship] is a huge help for me,” she said. “I know I can’t put everything on my parents. I want to finish my four years here, so to have that little bit of extra help is truly amazing.”
A recent graduate of Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, Cuba said she was initially nervous about the transition from high school to college, but that those concerns have since disappeared.
“I love CSUN. It’s so [welcoming], everybody is so nice, and the teachers are amazing,” she said. “I feel so comfortable here.”
Her parents, Michael and Maria Cuba — immigrants from Cuba and Nicaragua, respectively — said there are no words to describe how proud they are of their daughter, and that their dream is for their daughter to maximize her potential.
“To see the actual person come out of her shell — I can’t explain it. It’s such a good feeling — it’s unbelievable, and it’s not describable,” Maria Cuba said.
“My hope for Stephanie is that she does whatever she wants to do and enjoys her work,” Michael Cuba said. “Make as much money as you can, but make it by doing something you enjoy.”
The Southern California Gas Company served as one of the event’s sponsors.
Source: CSUN Today