Camp at CSU Bakersfield has helped many students whose parents work in agriculture. It has given students the help they need to get by in college. Camp was established at CSUB in 2000, and since then, it has helped hundreds of succeeding in higher education.
When interviewing the Camp director Omar Correa, he mentioned that during the pandemic, “It was a challenge, it was a scary moment for staff and student participants.” He did not know yet what they were going to do as Camp is an in-person program, and his staff are used to interacting with students. Another thing he mentioned is it “Opened opportunities to what we can do in the future.” Everyone had to learn to adapt to a new life during the pandemic.
When asked what types of resources and services Camp offers, Omar said, “A two-week summer bridge program and to be innovated we had made it into a virtual platform.” Camp provides book financial assists, and Omar stated, “Our students receive about 300 to 500 dollars a year.” Camp gives their students focused academic advising sessions once a month. It also has a study hall tutoring component, computer access, and printing. Camp also offers food that is not costly, and many students love that.
A former Camp student, Jesus Bastidas, said, “Being around tutors that were more than willing to assist with schoolwork helped out a lot. [I] didn’t have a lot of money in college and I was always hungry on campus, and I always knew where to go when I needed something to eat.” Camp had a positive impact on his college experience, and it helped him out. He mentioned, “The main reason why Camp helped me throughout college and graduation was the people I met. I met so many impactful people at events such as the leadership conference, the summer program, and just being around the Camp office. The advisors were amazing Omar, Abel, Mirvat, etc. We’re all helpful and amazing people that I have met.” Jesus said, “Camp made a huge and positive impact in my life, and I’m so grateful for being a part of the Camp familia.”
Angela Lopez Romo, a senior at CSUB, said, “Camp has helped me get the by in the difficult moments when I first started college. They supported me throughout my ups and downs, which helped me feel like I belonged in college.” Camp has not only helped their students but has built a connection with them. She also mentioned, “As a first-generation student, it is hard carrying the pressure of being successful, and Camp was just another supportive family cheering me on.”
Blanca Garcia, who is a senior at CSUB, said, “Camp has helped me in a way where I feel like I wouldn’t be the student I am today. They provided many resources that have really impacted my career in college.” Camp has a big impact on all of its students, and it makes sense as to why the program has been around for over 21 years at CSUB. Blanca also mentioned, “They made sure to walk me through my first year in college. They provided me with guidance, which is something every student who joins the program will benefit from for sure.”
Camp has made a positive impact on Jesus, Angela, and Blanca, so it does not come as a surprise that this program has continued to thrive. Most students who are in the program build a close connection with the advisor, and it is a positive atmosphere in the Camp office. Camp has made college easier for students who come from an agricultural background or are first generation college students.