Man talks to parent and child at info table

Calbright Attends Soboba Tribal Resource Fair and Univision Back to School Event

Calbright was proud and grateful to have been invited to participate in the Soboba Tribal TANF Program Annual Resource Fair in Riverside, CA. Supporting educational equity for California’s native populations is part of our mission, and we can begin by offering support to tribal communities that are already doing this work.

The Tribal TANF program was created to provide cash aid assistance and supportive services to meet the specific needs of Native American families. It is a federal and state funded endeavor that provides time-limited assistance to needy families with children in an effort for those children to be cared for in their homes or in the homes of relatives. The program is designed with the flexibility to address and focus on a variety of cultural and traditional needs.

The Resource Fair was held on August 4, and Calbright was represented by Raul Sarabia, our Regional Outreach Coordinator.

“Working with the constituents serviced by the Soboba Nation (Tribal) TANF Program was a great experience,” Sarabia said. “Providing awareness and being able to share information on the different programs and services we offer, along with educating the audience on the flexible method of educational delivery provided by Calbright was the highlight of the day. It was great to listen to the needs of community members and it was great to know that Calbright can help meet those needs, especially by removing the transportation, access (or lack thereof) to technology, and accessibility barriers that have historically plagued students. We are very glad to have been asked to attend.”

Raul Sarabia, Calbright’s Regional Outreach Coordinator, with a community member at the Soboba Tribal TANF Program Annual Resource Fair

The Univision Back to School Community Event took place on Aug. 13 in Huntington Park, CA, a suburb in southeast Los Angeles. Huntington Park’s residents are 97% Hispanic/Latino and is very much considered a working class neighborhood. It ranks lowest in California and 10th-worst nationally on the Business Insider “misery index.” Univision partners with local neighborhoods to bring much needed help and relief to residents in the form of these fairs. There were 3,000+ attendees, 95% were Hispanic/Latino, and many of the families that attended received free health screenings, haircuts, food, and other resources.

It was an opportunity to share what Calbright has to offer: free online community college classes that can be taken anywhere, on a student’s schedule, with personalized support from staff. In as little as six months, working at their own pace, students can be ready for industry valued certifications that are in-demand for jobs like IT, Cybersecurity, and CRM Platform Administration. 

But events like these are also a chance for us to listen. Calbright develops its structures and curriculum around the needs of students, and we wanted to know: what would make college classes more accessible, and a better fit for your life?

“Attending this event puts the College in the front lines of community service as we provide information to the community on the different programs and services we offer, along with the flexible method of educational delivery Calbright offers,” Sarabia said. “Providing the community with information that makes higher education attainable and reachable fosters and creates a college-going culture among families leading to upward social mobility for many that need it. Hearing about their lives and learning about the challenges they face also helps us develop programs that can better support more people from traditionally disenfranchised populations. It was a wonderful event.”

Raul Sarabia, Calbright’s Regional Outreach Coordinator, with a community member at the Univision Back to School Community Event

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