CalWORKs strives to inspire, engage and empower members

by Gilbert Bernal 1,256 views0

Ron Haynes, CalWORKs Counselor at Southwest College hosting a workshop

The California Community College 8th annual training institute took place in Anaheim at the Hyatt Regency.

CalWORKs members engaged with colleagues, attend workshops and networked with other CalWORKs staff and students at the three-day event.

Attendees posted to social media sites using the #wearecalworks tag to document activities and what inspired them during the conference.

This year, College of the Canyons’ CalWORKs assisted with the planning of the event. At the conference, Dr. Pamela Brogdon-Wynne, Director of the CalWORKs program attended with three of her staff and three students.

COC CalWORKs dept. supported the event by organizing the keynote speakers presentations taking place at the conference.

Dr. Pamela Brogdon-Wynne EOPS/CARE & CalWORKs Director with students and staff

 The Struggle Continues

The Struggle Continues
Dr. Helen Easterling Williams and CCC CWA Timothy Wiley

First, Dr. Helen Easterling Williams, Dean at Pepperdine University, provided the most memorable moments.

As keynote speaker, Dr. Williams inspired the audience with memoirs growing up, her path to higher learning and career in education. Next, Williams dazzled the crowd with her recital of Nikky Giovanni’s’,1972 poem “Ego Tripping”. Later, Mrs. Williams told me, the poem reminded her of the women who overcame adversity before her.

CCC CWA President Timothy Wiley honored Helen with a plaque in recognition of her achievements.

Students day to shine

Annually, the CalWORKs Association recognizes students who apply to the Portraits of Students Success scholarship program.

Students from all ten districts submit essays describing their challenges and accomplishments as students in the CalWORKs program. The 1st place winner receives the title along with a one-thousand-dollar scholarship.

CCC CWA 2017 Portraits of Success

Following a break for lunch, the Rafferty’s from region six at Antelope Valley College received the highest honor.

Sarah and Steven Rafferty shared how they overcame challenges with persistence and support from the CalWORKs program.

Finally, five more students received scholarships for essays they wrote detailing their failures and victories. Recipients joined the student panel and discuss their plight and successes as a student. Harli Law, from Cabrillo College, retold her tribulations growing up with an abusive mother, foster care, imprisonment redemption, and reinvention.

Shaun Mcdonald, a COC CalWORKs student, said, she admired the different stories of students victory she heard at the conference.

Overall the CCC CalWORKs conference was an inspiring opportunity for all who participated in the three-day event. The conference provides a platform for students and administration to advocate for themselves and the CalWORKs program.

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