C.A.R.E. Revamping

Ryan Peters, Staff writer

Change is in in the air. It is felt in the cold mornings, the shorter days, and the changing colors of the leaves. But that is not the only change going on. The EOPS office is buzzing with change: a new location and a revamping of the entire CARE program.

The Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) provides support services for economically or educationally disadvantaged students at DVC. The Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) is a sister program to EOPS that provides extra assistance to single parents with children under 14 years old. The program provides CARE students with a supply voucher, meal cards for days in class, and a monthly grant for childcare so the student can attend classes and study. These services are great in and of themselves, but now CARE wants to go a step further and create a community for the single-parent students.

According to the EOPS/CARE Assistant Priscilla Beas, “The primary effort in revamping the CARE program is to provide a comprehensive program with relevant substance.”

Beas explained that the ultimate goal of the restructuring is to create a comfortable community for the CARE students. CARE has supplemented the standard benefits offered in the past with enhancements hoped to bring the program together:

  • CARE Calendar- details all the program activities for a month and provides a quick look at important dates and deadlines.
  • CARE Forum- a space for critical discussion of the readings and any issues or concerns the students may have.
  • CARE Corner- a library that offers guides on topics ranging from academic scholarships to books on personal development and child rearing.
  • CARE Readings- serve as a discussion point for forums and gives a preview of resources available in the CARE Corner.
  • CARE Workshop- provides students with easily accessible information on numerous topics including stress relief and time management.
  • CARE Blog- a space for sharing information on community events and activities that are family friendly; and a place to share their family experiences.

Beas states, “We are learning how to collectively raise a community here through the liberating power of education.” The parents in the CARE program are setting a positive example for their children, and many feel the program is letting them set a new course for their family.

A telling example is Rachelle Hampton, 23, a pre-nursing student. To Hampton, being a single mother can be an isolating experience. Hampton stated, “It helps to talk with others and recognize that we are all going through the same struggles.”

This ability to talk about their shared problems and discuss possible solutions is a goal that the CARE program strives for, and they hope to continue to foster that sense of community.

As the EOPS and CARE programs both prepare to make their new home on the first floor of the new Student Services Center, they hope the move will allow them to proceed with the changes they have begun to implement and to grow the CARE program community.