The Transfer Center hosted, “Student Breaking Barriers,” a virtual student alumni panel on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. Over 80 Attendees got the opportunity to hear from Kaelyn Malani who is a Business Administration major with a minor in Engineering Management at San Jose State University, Morelia Karina Cruz, a Mathematics major at UC Berkeley, and Mark Estrada an Asian American Studies major at San Francisco State. The panelist shared personal narratives of their educational experiences that inspired and motivated the audience. The conversation centered around ways in which Skyline helped them prepare for transfer and their careers, and advice they had for students considering transfer.

Our panelist Mark mentioned that what assisted him prepare for college was “Joining a learning community such as CIPHER” and the importance of connecting with people who went to his future ideal transfer school. Mark also suggested that students explore any extracurricular activities to build leadership and a network. Mark shared with the audience, that growing your network and connecting to others is essential as you prepare for your transfer journey. What some in the audience really responded to was how Mark was able to change majors and the power of his decisions to be able to follow his interest. Selecting a major can be challenging for many and his ability to share how he went from Psychology to Asian American Studies and the work he is doing in his community was refreshing.

Additionally, student got to hear what they can do now to be prepared for success at the university. While the college admission process can be competitive, Morelia shared that challenging yourself while at the community college was important. She explained that looking back on her experience she realizes that the, “professors that are hard, are the ones that helped me prepare the most for UC Berkeley,” and encouraged students to challenge themselves personally and academically. In addition, Kaelyn added that students seeking to transfer should also, “tak[e] higher requirement courses to make you look competitive.”  Lastly, Morelia encouraged students to really own their experience sharing, “it is your life, your journey, this is your chance to grow as a person, do not compare yourself to others.”

Attendees were able to fully engage with our panelist and ask many deep diving questions. A student attendee shared that they, “loved how real they [panelist] kept it with us. Telling us their own personal experience and the way they felt. Also, expressing their vulnerability at those times and the depth they had grabbed my attention. They were all very lively which I admired overall.” In an effort to build community the panelists were able to share their contact information with student attendees in hopes of providing them a support network. The virtual Transfer Student Panel would not have been possible without the support of students, faculty and staff. The Transfer Center is appreciative of the continued support that allows us to create spaces for students to share their stories. If you were unable to catch the event you can watch the recording here.

Article by Jackie Flores & Lucy Jovel

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