By Sikivu Hutchinson
Recently, the L.A. Times reported that California’s community college system, the gateway to jobs and university transfers for the majority of the state’s students of color, is in a state of deep fiscal crisis. Fees are increasing, core classes that students need are scant, math and English remediation is the norm for incoming freshman, and vocational training is being pared to a nub — impacting the already abysmal transfer rate. The implications of the community college crisis will be exacerbated by the low four year college-going rate for youth of color. For example, at the end of each year in the main hallway at Gardena High School in Los Angeles there is a display of seniors who’ve gotten accepted to four year colleges. At a school of over 2300 students this cohort would only fill one classroom.
Gardena High student and AB540 Dreamer activist Lizeth Soria is an undocumented young woman and former student of mine who I have had the pleasure of mentoring through the Women’s Leadership Project feminist civic engagement program. Liz has written the following appeal for support in her dream to go to college: