VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - Many agricultural workers in Ventura County would like their children to get a higher education, but cost and an overall understanding of how to apply for college may make it difficult.
CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) University Culture Pathways Manager Monica Ocampo speaks to farmworkers about opportunities to attend CSUCI. She and her team hold public events to let them know that a college education is within reach for farm working families.
A multigenerational agricultural business called Reiter Affiliated Companies gifted the outreach effort $10,000, which will go toward launching the Ventura County Student and Family College Readiness Institute.
“The purpose of this institute is to create a yearlong series of workshops and programming for farm working families in Ventura County,” Ocampo said. “The aim is to increase attitude, interest and pathways to a college education with college readiness workshops. Like how to prepare for college, the admission process, financial aid and other pathways to a college education.”
Interest in the events Ocampo has held so far has been great. The annual Dia de Familia regional family conference held on campus each year in February drew 330 participants this year, which included 34 farm working families.
Information they provide about college is provided in both Spanish and English.
She hopes the program reminds parents that they, too, can support the first member of their family to attend college in more ways than they realize, and that they have a community to help with the rest.
Ocampo added, "Going to college and getting an education opens up opportunities for better jobs, insurance, better health and well-being for the entire family.”
For more information about CSUCI, click here.
To read more about Reiter Affiliated Companies, visit their website.