By Annie Kuzmanovic
The end of a spring semester, as many of us know, calls for celebration. Not only is a full academic year coming to a close, but most seniors are able to walk away from this campus fully recognized as a receiver of a degree of higher education. This is especially important at CI where many students are not only first-generation college students, but some are undocumented students, a group that may usually be overlooked in the scholar’s world.
This spring will mark CIs third year hosting the Undocumented Student Stoling Celebration, an event that invites graduating students who are also AB-540, Deffered Action for Childhood Arrivals or undocumented to recognize their achievements.
“Undocumented students, a marginalized student population within the U.S., navigate many challenges as they attempt to gain their education,” said Natalie Johnson, CI’s Coordinator of Underrepresented Student Initiatives. “These challenges or hurdles can many times feel insurmountable, but our students continue to push forward and persevere. That is why this event is so important, because it offers our undocumented students a venue to share their successes, accomplishments and triumphs.”
Johnson shared that the most unique tradition that takes place during this event is that the students’ families are also commemorated. “In this way, they are able to get recognized and celebrated for their investment in the educational pursuits of their students,” Johnson said. “This added moment in the program is so powerful, as individuals are able to see their families’ dreams coming to fruition through their student’s hard work and perseverance.”
This celebration is one of the newer graduating ceremonies but it is greatly impactful and an extremely relevant one. This year the event will be held Thursday, May 16 at 5:30 p.m. in Malibu 100. In order to participate and to earn a stole, a cost of $25 must be paid by 5:00 p.m. on May 3. You can RSVP at tinyurl.com/UndocStoling if you are an undocumented student and would like to celebrate completing your academic journey.