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Quezada is starting off on the right foot

Photos and Story by

Esmeralda Quezada

Esmeralda Quezada believes an event like this is perfect for new students.

What is this event? It’s the Multicultural Center’s Open House, which will run from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, Sept. 16 in the Performing Arts Center at the Sylvania Campus. The event is free and open to all students and parking is free of charge. Students will be able to take campus tours; attend bilingual workshops for themselves and family; enjoy a campus resource fair; set up their free email account; meet PCC staff; and enjoy music by DJ O.G.ONE and the Hungry Mob. There will also be raffle prizes and a barbecue lunch for $3.

"I think this event will help a lot," said Quezada, 18. "Especially for minorities who might come to school and think, ‘Oh my God, I’m the only one here.’ People at this open house are of different races. It’s a great way to feel more comfortable about the college and get help if they need it. That’s really important."

Quezada, though, is no stranger to the college. She was an Upward Bound student for three years while she attended Tigard High School. Upward Bound is a federally funded program that encourages more first-generation, college-bound Latino youth to complete high school and enter college. She took reading and writing classes at Sylvania and toured various colleges and universities.

"Upward Bound people were always there to help me," she said. "There were counselors who advised us on where we wanted to go, helped to set our goals and planned with us how we’d reach them."

Quezada, who wants to go to Western Oregon University and eventually teach English as a second language, is no stranger to tutoring herself. She has worked as an ESL tutor in high school for three years.

"I was always assisting the teachers and learning how the educational system works," she said. "Once I get my degree, I want to come back and work at a high school."

Quezada plans to focus on reading, writing, and dance in addition to volunteering at the Sylvania Multicultural Center. She had been looking at attending Oregon State University or Western Oregon as a freshman, but said she choose PCC because of its affordability and welcoming atmosphere.

"I would say since this is a community college, you really are part of a community," Quezada said. "Anywhere you go you can get help. The classes are small and the teachers are more likely to know your name and you feel closer to them. Also, you’ll relate more to students and get more help."

For more information about the Open House, call 503-977-4112.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »


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