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Issue #15
June 2011
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CSU Launches "Journey to Success" College Fair for Pacific Islander Families

Pacific Islander families got a taste of college life at California State University, Dominguez Hills, while learning about the steps to college.

Held on June 4, the "Journey to Success: Pacific Islander," college fair attracted hundreds of Tongan, Samoan, Marshallese and Hawaiian residents from Carson, Compton, Long Beach, Los Angeles and Orange County.   

Parents, students and elders sitting at the Toro Gymnasium 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 AAPI Initiative

The event was produced by the CSU Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative. CSU Vice Chancellor Garrett Ashley, who leads the initiative, welcomed the plenary session attendees. Ashley said that the purpose of the AAPI initiative is to improve college access and graduation achievement for Asian American and Pacific Islander students from underserved communities.

Participants received “How to Get to College” information brochures printed in English, Tongan and Samoan.

Workshops focused on college admission, how to afford college, what parents need to know about college-going children, and peer-to-peer discussions about college life, led by students of Pacific Islander background.

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.

More Photos

At the welcome ceremony from left, Mitch Maki, Sala Mataalii and the Hon. Mike Eng.
Mitch Maki, (l) CSUDH; Sala Mataalii, (c) community leader; Assemblyman Mike Eng.

Students with Justin Su'a (center) after his amusing talk drawing from sport psychology.
Students with Justin Su'a (center) after his inspiring talk drawing from sport psychology.

Crowd at

Audience at "Journey to Success: Pacific Islander" college fair opening at Toro Gym.


Emancipated Youths Celebrate College Graduations

Graduates honored by Senator Burton

A group of 50 youths who graduated at several campuses of the California State University, University of California and community colleges were recently honored by former State Sen. John Burton for succeeding in college while overcoming many adversities.

The honored graduates grew up in foster homes and began lives on their own as they turned 18 years of age and were pondering whether college would be a reality for them.

"There is nothing you can't do because you have done the most difficult part of your life," Burton told the graduates many of whom grew up living in more than 10 homes and at least one had lived in 77 homes before turning 18.

A drawing was held to distribute 20 Apple iPad 2 computers donated by a San Francisco law firm. Those not lucky enough to win a computer, received gift certificates to buy clothes at Banana Republic stores.

The event was organized by the John Burton Foundation for Children Without Homes. Approximately 75,000 youths are in foster care in California. Only 50 percent graduate from high school and less than 10 percent earn a college degree.


Event Calendar

August 27

Super Saturday
African American College Fair CSU Dominguez Hills

October 8

AAPI Journey To Success
Cambodian and all S/E Asian
CSU Long Beach

October 22

Es El Momento
Latino College Fair
CSU Dominguez Hills

November 5

AAPI Journey To Success
Vietnamese, Filipino
CSU Fullerton


Questions, ideas or comments about editorial content, e-mail Clara Potes-Fellow Clara Potes-Fellow
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