By Nicole Trimble
Parent of CSUN Students
Member of Glory Christian Fellowship
Volunteer at Morningside High School
I met California State University, Chico’s President Paul Zingg at Glory Christian Fellowship in February, 2010. He was participating in a program called CSU Super Sunday, a partnership between the Cal State system and African American churches across the state. From the pulpit, President Zingg shared the message that college is an attainable dream, a catapult for success and he personally wants our students to be successful at his campus. I took the president at his word and, after talking to the president myself, passed on contact information for the assistant principal of my children’s high school, Morningside. The Assistant Principal was a little apprehensive because she had never heard of such a partnership, but took the information anyway. The next day, President Zingg called Morningside’s assistant principal and now Chico State administrators are in continuous contact with a high school 500 miles away in Inglewood.
Chico State actually went a step further and gave a grant to bring students from Inglewood to tour the university. As a result, more than 30 students from Morningside now attend Chico State and the numbers are still climbing. Morningside and Glory Christian Fellowship are now building relationships with other campuses, including Cal State Northridge where we work hand-in-hand with the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP).
Super Sunday, brings the university into communities and gives us access to university administrators in a way that we would not normally have access. Super Sunday also reinforces the efforts of parents, grandparents, pastors, teachers and neighbors who work with children to develop lifelong goals and show them how college fits into those goals.
My children now attend Cal State Northridge and I look forward to returning to Cal State this fall. My own struggles at college, when my absence of goals left me with little motivation when things became challenging, have informed my work with students. At Morningside, I work with students to identify goals and have them put those goals on paper. I periodically meet with students at college to review those goals and their progress.
The goal is not just to get students to college, but to have them stay there and graduate. My hope is that this generation of students will succeed and then reach back and help someone else. Today’s children are our future – with the right support, we can all make that future a little brighter.