Chabot paid for 14 of our peers to have the opportunity to visit our nation’s capital for the National Student Advocacy Conference hosted by the ASACC (American Student Association of Community Colleges) from March 14 through 21.
SSCC advisors Ellen Corbett, Arnold Paquio, and Ben Nash made the trip possible through their efforts and organization. “The purpose of this conference is to enhance the ability of Chabot College students to effectively advocate on behalf of themselves and their peers, and to share their newfound skills and knowledge with their communities,” reads the application authored by SSCC Vice President Sharon Dang.
Following the return home, Patrick Mwamba says his highlight of the trip was, “finding out how important advocacy at the national level is.”
Nash, former Student Senate President, says, “practicing with students to perfect their presentations for our Members of Congress,” and, “attending the Town Hall event with Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and filmmaker Michael Moore,” were his favorite moments.
The ASACC website describes an intention of the National Advocacy Conference is to get community college students to, “listen, learn and lead.”
“The conference will provide general sessions, keynote speakers, workshops and forums designed to educate the student participants on the major issues that are critical to community colleges,” according to their website.
Keynote speaker Ralph Nader referred to, “the fire in the belly,” speaking to the passion behind advocacy.
“My favorite workshop was the one on free community college,” says Jonathon Ortega.
The SSCC could only approve the budget for the trip because of the students who opted to pay the, “$10 student body fee,” where, “the SSCC gets its entire budget from,” says SSCC Representative at Large Lesly Avendano.
“As someone who loves art and architecture, seeing all the buildings, seeing the history of the country and its founding ideas through art was one of the highlights for me personally,” said Gladwin Sy.
Mwamba adds, “hanging out with everyone, discovering their passions, interests, our similarities, and learning different perspectives,” were a few of his favorite moments.
Mwamba, “especially loved the mac n’ cheese the first night, and all that great food.”