DVC’s Puente Program Hosts Field Trip to UC Berkeley and San Francisco State

DVC’s Puente Program Hosts Field Trip to UC Berkeley and San Francisco State

Mireya Preciado, Staff

On May 4, I joined Diablo Valley College’s  Puente Program on a trip to UC Berkeley and San Francisco State, where students had an opportunity to explore the campuses and gain information about the schools. For me, the trip was both a last chance to decide whether or not to accept my admission to San Francisco State, and a day to spend with the amazing DVC student and faculty leaders around me.

Sandra-Cruz Gonzalez was one of them. Among the 50 students who went on the field trip, Gonzalez said she was excited to visit both campuses to get a visual sense of her future academic journey.

DVC English professors Anthony Gonzalez and Stephanie Razo, along with counselors Brenda Gonzalez and Justin Wembez, led the Puente trip. They said they were glad about how much they felt their students learned from the experience.

According to Brenda Gonzalez, many students who have gone on these trips in the past have later indicated their interest in applying to SFSU and Cal – which is, after all, the goal of the journey. “We strive to provide our students with the opportunity to explore their options and make informed decisions about where they would like to transfer to,” she said.

The Puente team shared that the college visits were a huge success in helping students learn about local transfer options and creating a space for them to connect and build community with their teachers and peers.

When we arrived on each campus, former DVC students were there to provide testimonials about their transfer experiences and to let Puente students ask questions about housing, cost of attendance and the campus community.

At UC Berkeley, transfer students Mike Andrade, Joanna Torres, Maria Bojorquez, Alondra Loyola and Paula Ore shared their stories about how they made the transition from community college to the four-year university.

For Sandra-Cruz Gonzalez, a DACA student and the first in her family to go to college, the trip helped her to decide her next steps.

“I love that we had the opportunity to meet Puentistas from previous cycles who were transfer students at SF State and Berkeley,” she said. “They gave us great advice and shared additional information about the services they’ve received from their schools, like scholarships.”

Later, at Puente’s year-end celebration at DVC, a student speaker named Belen shared what she thought felt meaningful about the field trip. “It was nice to see people who were in our shoes, who had our struggles,” she said.

“It showed us it’s up to you to become who you want to be.”

Also joining the celebration was DVC President Susan Lamb, who talked about the importance of Puente for the entire campus community.

“Puente is more than a program, it’s a family,” said Lamb. “The amount of love I feel when I see how [people] interact with each other is beautiful.”