The College of Health and Human Services at Fresno State and West Fresno Family Resource Center have partnered up to get youth ready for college at the "iFuture: You Belong at Fresno State" event, 10 a.m. to noon, April 22 at the West Fresno Family Resource Center (1802 E. California Ave.).
The event, hosted in collaboration with Fresno State’s Advising and Career Development Center, University Outreach, Career Development Center and the Department of Criminology in the College of Social Sciences, targets middle school students from Fresno Unified School District, including Computech, Gaston and W.E.B. DuBois Academy.
The goal is to provide early outreach to students and their families to prepare them for academic success in college.
“Intervention during the beginning of the adolescent time period is crucial, as these students are beginning to explore and think about their future,” said Dr. Jenelle Gilbert, chair of the College of Health and Human Services’ Retention Advisory Committee. “Creating opportunities for them to explore their interests and build bridges of hope may result in young people thinking more broadly about their choices.”
At the event, students can explore various career options in the health and human services field, including communicative sciences and deaf studies, kinesiology, nursing, physical therapy, public health, recreation administration, social work education and criminology.
Current Fresno State students majoring in these fields will be at information booths and will lead interactive activities for participants. Career counselors from the University will provide parents with helpful strategies to navigate steps toward higher education for their children.
This event is the result of the College of Health and Human Services’ Retention Advisory Committee, which launched two years ago as part of a University initiative to engage students about belonging and academic success.
“The more messages that seventh and eighth graders hear about college, the more likely they are to pursue this goal,” Gilbert said. “We want to make sure that they see Fresno State or another college as a distinct possibility for them.”
Fresno State’s mascot Timeout will make an appearance, and local radio station B95 will provide musical entertainment at the event, which is free and open to the public. Fresno State’s Community Health Mobile Unit will be available with nursing students administering free health screenings to families in attendance. The event coincides with West Fresno Family Resource Center’s “Spring Into Health” event, which will include a food distribution to the community.