Monday, February 24, 2020

Grossmont College's Dia de Familia promoting careers in public service

Crime lab demonstrations, free food, folklorico dancers, a VIP panel, a drone giveaway and more are on tap for Grossmont College’s Dia de Familia, a free community event promoting careers and programs tied to public service and non-profits.

The 4-8 p.m., March 5 event sponsored by the college’s s Via Rapida FYE program will be at the Main Quad, targeting the Latinx and East County communities. More than 200 attendees are expected, organizers say. 

“This is one of our major events of the year focusing on high school students, adult re-entry students, current Grossmont College students and their families, but anyone interested in a public service career is certainly welcome,” said Gabriela Soto, an outreach specialist for Via Rapida FYE and chief organizer of Dia de Familia.  

Federally funded by a grant for Hispanic Serving Institutions, Via Rapida’s First Year Experience program is designed for Hispanic, low-income students, but is open to all first-time college students needing academic or social support. The  program currently serves approximately 500 students and is expected to double next year as it continues to develop , thanks to outreach efforts such as Dia de Familia, Soto said,  With summer orientations for incoming freshmen, as well as close monitoring to help students stay on track, the FYE program has helped increase retention rates for first-time college students.  

This is the third year for Dia de Familia, which annually highlights a different career theme. Past themes have been allied health and business/entrepreneurship. Careers represented this year will include public safety and law enforcement; as well as city management, disability and immigrant services. The event will showcase academic programs including forensic technology, the college’s Corrections Academy and Administration of Justice.

 Law enforcement agencies including the San Diego, Chula Vista and National City police departments, and San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will be represented. Non-profits will also have a presence, including the International Rescue Committee, the San Diego Humane Society, Jewish Family Services and the San Diego chapter of MANA, a national organization promoting Latina empowerment. 

The evening’s schedule includes:
•    4-6 p.m.: forensics demonstration and tour, free tacos, engagement activities and expo
•    5-5:15 p.m.: Baile Folklorico performance
•    5:45 p.m.: Grossmont College Corrections Academy march demonstration
•    6:15-7 p.m.: Speakers panel with U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, La Mesa Police Chief Walter Vasquez; National City Police Sgt. Estela Cordero; San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Agustin Peña and a representative of the San Diego County Public Defender’s office. Panelists will talk about their backgrounds and provide career and educational advice.
•    7-8 p.m. Students’ panel of four AOJ students
Grossmont College is at 8800 Grossmont College Drive.  Free parking will be available in Lot 7.

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