Merced County Times Newspaper
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Merced College ‘Kickoff’ event paves way for educational access

The Community Kickoff is an opportunity for Merced College to engage with underserved communities.
The Community Kickoff is an opportunity for Merced College to engage with underserved communities.

By TAYLOR MANZANEDO

Merced College invites all members of the community to gather at McNamara Park on Saturday, April 27, for a Community Kickoff event.

At the event, new students can receive comprehensive assistance with financial aid, admissions and records, and counseling services. This event offers students the opportunity to complete the enrollment process, from registration to matriculation, all in one place.

Whether you’re a high school student eager to learn about dual enrollment opportunities or an adult learner considering a return to college, the event promises something for everyone.

“The Community Kickoff is exactly the sort of initiative that is built into Merced College’s Educational Master Plan, as well as the Student Equity Plan,” said Joe Serena, Dean of Student Equity. “Being a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Merced College wants to be intentional about hosting these events in areas where these populations reside.”

The Community Kickoff is an opportunity for Merced College to engage with underserved communities and serve a population of students that may lack the resources to come to campus or to initiate their own educational journey.

“If we can pop up in different communities and say ‘Hey, here we are,’ we can create a one-stop shop for all,” said Cimmaron Ruiz, EOPS Equity Counselor and Coordinator. “This isn’t your ordinary registration event. This is a community pop-up where we are trying to create a presence in underserved communities.”

Merced College has partnered with the local organization Lifeline CDC to host the event at their McNamara Park location. This partnership underscores Merced College’s commitment to extending its reach to underserved communities. Lifeline CDC’s focus on community empowerment also aligns with the Educational Master Plan.

By leveraging partnerships and community engagement, Merced College aims to break down barriers to education and empower individuals to pursue their academic goals, regardless of their background or circumstance.

Said Serena: “On our end, the idea is to bring everything that we offer here at Merced College to the south side of Merced — and in the future, to other communities within our service area.”

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