Black students invited to Valley College for “Black to School Night”

Black students across CJUSD went to San Bernardino Valley College for an event focused on opportunities for students of color


Tiffany Hampton

Students from CJUSD attend the San Bernardino Valley College “Black to School Night” event to learn more about postsecondary options for youths of color.

San Bernardino, CA—At San Bernardino Valley Community College on Wednesday night, students of color across Colton Joint Unified School District were invited to a “Black to School Night” event to learn about and discuss the school’s Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS).

The evening’s program was set up by the San Bernardino Community College District’s black Faculty and Staff association in partnership with a number of programs at the SBVC.

“We hear statistics about how poorly black students are doing,” said EOPS counselor and associate professor Keenan Giles. “I know it is not about ability. Sometimes it’s about not feeling comfortable; sometimes it’s about not feeling welcomed; sometimes it’s not being validated; and sometimes it’s not about being aware of the resources that exist.”

Ten students took a district bus to SBVC, including 5 CHS students. The event featured presentations about different topics regarding the benefits of enrolling at SBVC as well as other options within online programs. 

Despite the event’s purpose of providing support for black students in the greater Colton community, most of these programs can be accessed by any student regardless of race, ethnicity, color, etc. 

A large portion of the visit involved a small fair in which students interacted at different booths, collecting brochures for specific opportunities, some of which involved candles, photography, literature, and even job openings. There was also a food stand full of baked treats, snacks, and other sweets to refresh those who came to visit.

“It was nice to see the intentionality,” said assistant principal Diyaira Durham, who chaperoned the trip along with maths teacher Natascha Woodson. “We talk about the state of education for our black and brown students . . . but what are we doing to counteract that narrative? It was a great event. The resources they curated for the guests were spot on in terms of postsecondary options for our students.”