A ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon opened the first meeting of Bakersfield College’s newest campus club — Latinas Unidas.
The club provides students with a support group and network and a space where they feel accepted and represented. It empowers students to give back to their community and facilitate workshops that provide students with a guide to academic success.
“We want Latinas to share common narratives and learn from mentors and peers, so that they do not feel alone in their academic journey,” a press release said.
Gabriela Gomez, the club’s president, helped create the club because she saw a need for Latina representation at BC.
“We want to provide a space for women to come together and support each other,” she said.
When Gomez, 26, began attending BC, she noticed many of the students were first-generation students, and a lot of those students don’t have the support system to continue higher education, she said.
Sometimes the family doesn’t know how to help, or students may have children to care for or may be struggling with finances, she said.
“That shouldn’t inhibit you from pursuing your dream,” she said. “We are called to strive for higher goals and aspirations.”
She hopes the club can offer resources to help students reach their goals.
If students have child care scheduling conflicts, they can bring their children to their study sessions that Latinas Unidas offers. Or if students simply need a support system, the club offers that service as well.
“We would like to offer services based on the needs of the club,” Gomez said. “I just want to offer students a support network where they feel wanted and included.”
The club leaders are also planning on holding an event called “Latte Latinas” during finals week.
“Sometimes you just need that java to study,” she said.
Although it seems the club is only open to Latinas, all students are welcome to join.
Gomez said, “We hope as many Latinas, and all students, can join, and we are excited to have them.”