On Wednesday, October 18, 2023, students from all three SMCCCD campuses — Skyline, College of San Mateo, and Cañada — attended AANAPISI Day as part of the ARC Project at San Francisco State University. Funded by the Department of Education (DOE), Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) collaborative grant between all four schools, The Access, Relevance, Community (ARC) Project has been carefully designed to address critical needs and barriers to underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander (AA&PI) and low-income (LI) students’ success.

ARC Skyline brought 19 Kababayan Learning Community students and 5 peer mentors to SFSU.
The main goal of the ARC Skyline peer mentorship program is to provide Access, Relevance, and Community to students who identify as AANAPI (Asian American Native American Pacific Islander) and/or low-income. The “Access” in ARC is grounded within Ethnic Studies and self-determination aimed at challenging the Eurocentric curriculum in education and uses Ethnic Studies as a lens to respond to educational inequities. The “Relevance” in ARC is used to transform campus climate, culture, and curriculum to prioritize wellness and hope. The “Community” in ARC focuses on supporting teachers and students on mental health and well-being, academic, career counseling and guidance, and community building both inside and outside of the classroom.

During AANAPISI Day, attendees could hear from a panel of community college transfer students – Juice Canales, Belize Gonden-Cruz, Olympia Periera, and Layla Tahaafe. The students shared their personal experiences as transfer students, their time at SFSU, the classes they took, and their thoughts on Ethnic Studies. Participants also interacted with a panel consisting of College of Ethnic Studies faculty members Drs. Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Lee Kava, Loan Le, Ponipat Rokolekutu, and Wesley Ueunten, who talked about the classes they teach and how their culture applies to their teaching. Then, the students went on a campus tour and were introduced to members of the student organizations Pacific Islander Student Association (PISA), Kappa Psi Epsilon, Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor (PACE), and League of Filipino Students (LFS).

Article written by Faith Bautista, Christian Bebing, David Pumyam, Trinity Velasco-Frias and Izaac Virina, ARC Skyline Peer Mentors, with assistance from Dr. Liza Erpelo, ARC Skyline Faculty Director

Photos from ARC Skyline

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