Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Adonay Montes and Adjunct Professor Lori Kezos organized an event for 140 middle school students that allowed University of La Verne graduate students in the sections of the “Consultation, Collaboration and Facilitation” class to put theory to practice.
“Building Community Ties from the Inside Out,” an annual event hosted by the education department and coordinated by graduate students in the counseling program, took place on Saturday, May 11, 2013.
“The objective of these guidance lessons/workshops is to support the college going selves of the student participants and parents while developing counseling and advocacy skills,” Montes said. “The responses from participants, students, parents, teachers, and graduate students overwhelmingly reflected a deep sense of gratitude for being able to spend a day of community building and learning together.”
Participating students from Torch Middle School in Bassett Unified School District were assigned to various teams and participated in several workshops throughout the day.
Workshops included lessons on how to work smarter and not harder, using social media responsibly, having healthy relationships and the reality of the cost of living in California. Students were also taken on a campus tour to get an idea of what it is like to be a college student at La Verne.
“These types of events provide students and parents with a viable frame of reference, one that provides students and parents with a tangible experience of testing college from an inside perspective, cultivating and nourishing their educational aspirations and possible selves,” Montes said.
The first conference was held in 2010 and is organized by the graduate students, under the supervision of their professor, and allows them to facilitate workshops that they develop in order to prepare to become school counselors.
Participating middle school students are provided with an opportunity to experience college life and engage with current college students.
“The event creates a space where they can also apply their counseling skills, they can acquire key learning from their interaction with local communities from the inside out, and they are exposed to a new dimension of counseling that supports educators in expanding local and state standards to a multiglobal perspective,” Montes said. “Ultimately, having the opportunity to gain counseling and advocacy competency under the premise that cultural, physical, mental, social and humanistic conditions of students, parents, and educators are what define them as full members of the global village was an extraordinary gift for everyone.”