BY MAYA CASAS
Photo courtesy of Maria Martinez. Photo of Edge students who volunteered to help with COD’s first Family Night.
An estimated 500 students from Coachella Valley high schools attended College of the Desert’s first Family Night Dec. 6 in the school’s gymnasium from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Participants had the opportunity to learn about the different programs and services COD has to offer and how to apply for all of them.
Family Night consisted of educating individuals and families about admission to College of the Desert, how to qualify for a free tuition program available for 2019 graduates from any of the Coachella Valley high schools, how to apply for financial aid and how to enroll in an associate degree, certificate, English as a Second Language and/or Adult Basic Education.
There were booths set up representing the many departments at COD. The event gave participants the chance to learn about different fields of study, clubs, classes, programs COD has to offer and engage with the faculty and staff. There were tables for individuals and families to sit, eat and learn about the opportunities at COD and how it is easy to take advantage of them. Dinner was catered to families by Mario’s Italian Cafe.
This event was an opportunity for anyone that lives in the Coachella Valley to connect with counselors, faculty, staff, current students and more. Christee Raya from admissions and records said, “not a lot of people know the services that we offer or what education here at the college is about. We’re really trying to spread education awareness to the entire Coachella Valley. We offer so many programs that can reach out to anybody.” Marcos Sanchez, a senior of Shadow Hills High School, said he learned about the event while attending the “Tamale Festival” Dec.1 and Dec. 2. COD signed up more than 100 participants at the festival.
Organizers were pleased with the turnout and were excited to share about the many programs COD has to offer.
Attendees had the option to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and receive a free dinner for themselves and their families. Mario’s Italian Café catered the event. COD provided bus transportation for families who live in select areas including Mecca, Thermal, Indio, Thousand Palms and more.