Talented Gavilan students commit during college's second annual Signing Dayby Jan Janes on May 5, 2017
On the last Thursday in April, Gavilan's Art Quad swelled with students celebrating their commitment to their first college choice on college signing day. Many had been accepted to multiple colleges.
Started in 2015 as an initiative by former First Lady Michelle Obama to spur youth to aspire to college and beyond, Signing Day occurs across campuses nationwide. On social media, the hashtag #bettermakeroom became the meme for college-bound youth. This is the second year Gavilan College has scheduled time for students to participate in a campus signing day.
GECA students Dominique Pompa and Rebekah Mojica pose for fun photos after
announcing their colleges of choice. Pompa heads for CSU Stanislaus and Mojica to UCSC.
From morning to mid-afternoon, students gathered to proudly post their choice of transfer colleges. GECA students mingled with long-time students, talking about their time at Gav and their plans for the future.
Some students were accepted into the UC system. Others targeted CSU campuses known for specific program emphasis that matched their career and professional goals.
For close-knit sisters Dahvina and Sarah Najar, graduation from Gavilan and acceptance to college creates a temporary parting. Dahvina, a health sciences major, will pursue her RN at San Francisco State University. Sarah, an English major, will study English Literature at UC Santa Cruz.
Sisters and best friends Dahvina and Sarah Najar were thrilled at their
college signing options.
"I was accepted into all the Bay Area CSUs," said Sarah Najar, "and into UC Santa Cruz." She had taken extra classes to ensure she fulfilled the requirements of all the four-year schools she wanted to attend. The CSUs were within her financial reach, and she researched the tuition requirements for UCSC. It was a stretch. Just studying the online information, a UC education appeared unaffordable.
"Students have resilience, dedication and perseverance," she said. She made lengthy calls to the financial aid office at UCSC to see what would be required if she were accepted. After learning she qualified for their Blue and Gold program and a Pell Grant, Najar discovered she would not have to take out a five-figure loan. "The extra footwork paid off," she said. "I will attend my dream school, UC Santa Cruz, beginning this fall."
Hector Leal will head to UCSC this fall to study earth sciences.
During Signing Day, many students shared videos of their future plans, and of their fondness for Gavilan College. As UCSC-bound, outgoing ASGC President Omar Lopez said, "You haven't seen the last of me!"