08:12 AM

CAMP Opening Doors for Future Students

By Bri Phillips

Cal State San Marcos’ College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) collaborated with the Migrant Education Program in Los Angeles to host the inaugural Migrant Scholars Summer Institute (MSSI) from July 6-14. 

Nearly 40 high school students who identify as Latinx and first generation attended the residential experience at CSUSM. The program allowed students to immerse themselves in a college environment by living on campus and interacting with CSUSM CAMP members and staff. MSSI exposed students to resources to help prepare them for higher education and foster their personal and professional skills. 

The experience featured bonding activities, including developmental workshops, trips to Balboa Park and rock climbing. Students were also required to participate in a minimum of 20 hours of instruction in English language arts and mathematics. 

“It has been such a privilege to witness the incredible growth of each student as they embarked on a journey of self-discovery and academic excellence through the MSSI,” said María Venegas Escobedo, CAMP’s project director and the interim director of the Latinx Center. “Through intentional curriculum and a commitment to representation, we nurtured their awareness of new knowledge and fostered a transformative experience that affirmed the power of their unique identities.”

Venegas Escobedo was approached about MSSI by Mirna Miranda-Welsh, the director of migrant education in Los Angeles County. Venegas Escobedo worked with CAMP directors nationwide who have engaged in similar partnerships and resources on campus to bring the partnership to CSUSM. 

The goal is to hold MSSI annually, with the long-term vision of expanding its reach to other regions. To honor the achievements of the students in the MSSI pilot program, the closing event on July 14 in the USU Ballroom featured a celebration ceremony. 

“It was amazing to witness that when we meet students' needs and expose them to new ideas and opportunities that will continue to prepare them for the leaders they will become tomorrow, they get transformed and believe in themselves as people that belong in spaces, places and positions not originally created for them,” Venegas Escobedo said. “The look on their faces of, ‘I belong here’ or ‘I can do that’ is priceless.” 

Media Contact

Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist
ebreier@csusm.edu | Office: 760-750-7314