By Mohammad H. Qayoumi,
President of California State University, East Bay
Early preparation for middle school students is a major theme for this fifth annual CSU Super Sunday. The California State University is focusing on middle school because so many of the steps that lead a person to college or away from college are taken before a student ever sets foot on a high school campus.
During last year’s CSU Super Sunday, I told the story of Elmhurst Community Prep Middle School in Oakland where a sixth grade teacher decided to name and decorate her classroom after Cal State East Bay. The power of that story is found in the college-going culture created for every one of those children. Students had a daily reminder of the importance of goal-setting and how preparation, even in middle school, is the key to getting into college.
My journey to college also started early in life. Like so many students who go to Cal State East Bay, I am a first-generation college graduate. My father, a carpenter, had an elementary level education. My mother never had the opportunity to attend school. Yet my parents fostered in me a burning desire to go to college.
I thank my parents every day for their unconditional support. They provided me with the guidance and motivation to persevere throughout my career in higher education. I not only went to college but now serve as the president of a university. I am living my dream, and I am part of a university community that empowers thousands of students to live out their own dream.
The Cal State East Bay community has been a major participant in Super Sunday since the program’s inception. This year more than 150 CSUEB faculty, staff and students will be in 21 churches in Antioch, Berkeley, Dublin, Fremont, Hayward, Oakland, Pittsburg, Richmond, Stockton, Vallejo and Inglewood.
Cal State East Bay demonstrates the depth of our mission and commitment to the diverse communities we serve through our participation in CSU Super Sunday, the Education Summit on Feb. 20, and the Summer Algebra Academies.