discover ASTEPOn Wednesday, November 20, in collaboration with the African-American Success through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP) learning community, the Outreach Office hosted 25 students from McClymonds (Oakland, CA) and El Camino High School for Discover ASTEP. Discover ASTEP provided students with an opportunity to shadow Skyline College courses, engage with culturally similar faculty, staff and current students to create a safe space to learn and ask questions about college.

Danielle Powell provided a warm welcome to the group followed by a campus tour led by Outreach ambassadors. High school participants sat in on classes that included: ADMJ 100 Introduction to Administration, BUS 100 Introduction to Business, SOCI 100 Introduction to Sociology, PSYC 300 Social Psychology, MUS 100 Fundamentals of Music, COMM 130 Interpersonal Communication, BUS 162 Money Talks: Personal Finance, and COSM 703 Cosmetology Chemical Concepts. Additionally, interactive hands-on workshops were conducted by faculty in the biotechnology and Fabrication Labs where participants got to experience real-world biomanufacturing and engineering simulations.

Andrea Vizenor, Dean of Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development moderated a panel comprised of industry professionals: Ayo “Tae” Osilaja, financial analyst at Oracle Corporation, Linda Walubengo, Senior Manager at LinkedIn, Brandon Johnson, Global Artificial Intelligence Solutions Engineer at NetApp, and Shaylona Wheeler, Graduate Research Assistant at Santa Clara University. The panel covered topics such as “navigating through white-dominated companies as professionals of color” and “the importance of networking for career growth and advancement”. The high school participants connected to current ASTEP, Brothers Achieving Milestones (BAM), and The Women’s Mentoring and Leadership Academy (WMLA), and Puente students during lunch.

A thank you to everyone involved in the success of this event:

Danielle Powell, Kwame Thomas, Steve Aurilio, Soledad McCarthy, Rika Fabian, Jennifer Merrill, Nick Kapp, Marco Wehrfritz, Maryam Khan, Zack Bruno, Ryan Lescure, Cassidy Ryan and Eric Imahara.

Outreach ambassadors: Tom Tran, Athena Mendoza, and Eduardo Unisa. Student Volunteers: Sabrina Alegre, Jessica Davila, Brian Hutomo, and Michael Low.

Event and Facilities team, Media Services (Roger Marcelo) and Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development for sponsoring the catering and hosting an awesome panel.

Discover ASTEP is a part of the Discover Days initiative. The purpose of Discover Days is to host shadow days for underserved high school students to help them connect to Skyline College and develop a level of comfort with higher education.  Discover Days is graciously funded by the President’s Innovation Fund and supported by the President’s Council. For more information about Discover Days, contact Jeremy Evangelista-Ramos at

Article by  Jeremy Evangelista-Ramos | Photo by Eric Imahara

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