SBVC Hosts 2022 #RealCollegeCalifornia Basic Needs Summit
On December 9, SBVC proudly hosted higher education leaders, students and advocacy groups from across the state for the #RealCollegeCalifornia 2022 Basic Needs Summit. The event, led by the Community College
League of California’s Affordability, Food, and Housing Access Taskforce and presented by Ellucian, sought to identify and elevate equitable practices that increase access to higher education for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status.
Over the course of the day, educators, activists and students convened in SBVC‘s gymnasium and classrooms to highlight how food and housing insecurity, as well as unfunded and underfunded health and mental health
services, are creating inequity in many California communities, particularly in access to higher education. These issues cause students to stop-out before reaching their academic goals or to forgo a college
education altogether. The strong correlation between higher education and students’ access to basic needs was never more evident than during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The turbulent events of the past few years in our country have upended higher education and placed community colleges squarely at the forefront of redefining what it means to serve our communities,” said SBVC Interim President Dr. Scott W. Thayer in a message to event attendees. “As a
college that serves some of the most under-resourced communities in our state, we are intimately familiar with the ways in which a lack of resources can make the achievement of academic goals significantly more difficult for today’s college students.”
The event was kicked off by Dr. Scott W. Thayer and Dr. Nohemy Ornelas, Vice Chancellor of Educational and Student Support Services at SBCCD. Attendees were welcomed and introduced to keynote speaker Reggie Dabbs. Dabbs, widely considered one of the best public school speakers in the U.S., shared his story of growing up in poverty and within the foster care system. Despite his upbringing, Dabbs found a healthy path forward and has since dedicated his life to sharing a message of hope. His story has resonated with kids struggling with adversity, identity, and belonging in his 22 years of public speaking.
The rest of the summit was filled with coaching sessions from various community college leaders and advocates from across the state. Topics included “Compton College Guaranteed Income Program,” “Creating A
Student Housing Mission from A Basic Needs Perspective,” and “From Needs to Rights: Preserving Student Dignity and Autonomy,” to name just a few of the nearly 20 coaching sessions offered during the
Attendees reconvened twice during the day. During lunch, Dr. Scott W. Thayer, SBVC’s Dean of Student Engagement and Wellness Raymond Carlos, SBVC’s Interim Basic Needs Coordinator Maritza Portillo and Full
Measure’s Enterprise Customer Success Manager Jacob Hoggard presented “Basic Needs Resources in the Palm of Students’ Hands”. The day wrapped with General Session “Integrating Basic Needs and Mental Health for Student Success,” led by Bakersfield College’s Dean of Students Nicky
Damania, Basic Needs Program Manager Caitlin Davidson and Students