Outreach department offers volunteer opportunities

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College students mentor elementary school students.

By Felicia Mora

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

The outreach and recruitment department reaches into the community and provides volunteer opportunities and helps high schools students enroll in this college.

Director Chaye Pena Said the department’s goal is “to increase college awareness in the community.”

The recruitment part of this office helps high school students transition into college.

“We go out into the high schools and we’ll help them with Apply Texas, and the Alamo Enroll modules,” Pena said. “After they take their TSI, we’ll sit with them and go through their scores to see where they’re placed and then the students can take refreshers.”

The outreach part is for college students to volunteer to help children and teenagers in the community.

“We have a mentoring program where our college students work very closely with middle school students who are in eighth grade but are in between the ages of 14 and 17 so they have failed at least one time,” she said.

Last year 12 college students participated in mentoring middle school students.

Two staff members also help troubled middle school students who needed more parental guidance.

College students go to Middle schools once a week and mentor the students, she said.

College students also can volunteer to help with San Antonio Youth Literacy.

“Students here can become reading buddies, and they’ll go to elementary school students once a week to read to second graders,” she said.

The college students are helping second graders who are not reading at their grade level, she said.

Twelve college students participated in reading to second graders last year.

There are also opportunities for faculty and staff to help in their community by volunteering as a Big Brother or Big Sister in work place mentoring.

“A group of students are bused to SAC once a month. We have faculty and staff who serve as mentors for a lunch hour. Then we’ll sit and meet with them to talk about day-to-day things and encourage them to continue their education,” Pena said.

The department has worked in outreach for about two years and in recruitment since October 2015.

The Duran Welcome Center is part of this department.

“Our work is done with kinder through 12th grade,” Pena said. “The welcome center falls under me so we try to do what we can to make sure we promote the welcome center.

Her office and the work together toward a similar goal of helping students enroll in college.

“We’ve done tabling events. We’ve hosted events at the welcome center. We make sure to let the community know that any time a student is thinking about starting school at SAC, they know that the welcome center would be their first stop,” she said.

Pena said outreach and recruitment started as a vision President Robert Vela had, “to reach out to our backyard to make sure that we have a college going culture in our community.”

Outreach and recruitment wants schools, counselors and parents know that the office is a resource.

“We do a lot of presentations in the schools. We have a parent component, where we go and present to PTAs,” she said. “We also offer workshops for parents and so that’s really how it started as Dr. Vela’s vision.”

One event this semester will be with Core 4 STEM, an annual expo held by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that engages middle school students in educational activities and opportunities.

This event is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 5 with registration in Scobee Education Center.

To volunteer for any of the programs the department sponsors, go to Room 221 of Fletcher Administration Center or call Pena at 210-486-1209.

People also can email the office at Sac-outreach@alamo.edu or go to Facebook and search for SAC outreach and recruitment.

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