On Saturday October 23, 2010, AAYSP hosted the Annual Way to College Event which was previously known as the Back to School Event. They were able to bring together roughly 100 students, their family members, and their friends for a free presentation at the ACCESS Community Center on Saulino St that highlighted the importance of education for middle school and high school students. Between the raffle prizes, jerseys, basketballs, and the anticipated net book give away students had the chance to mingle with college representatives while enjoying complimentary snacks. The main focus of the event included a talk show that hosted guest speakers from various fields like Dr.Rashid Abdu, Shaker Lashuael, Mohamed Sahoubah, Professor Ron Emeigh, Asia Obad, Jenna Alderwish, Gail K. Tubbs, and Juan Ochoa. They were able to share valuable advice and life experiences regarding higher education with the younger audience.
What made this a valuable experience was the fact that these speakers were from such varied backgrounds. Doctors, active community leaders, professors, mothers, fathers, entrepreneurs, scientists, writers, social workers, they were all images that students would associated with success and they were there to speak with students about their memories in high school, how they made it from point A to point B.
To really establish the fact that success is within reach, AAYSP also held a student panel that answer young students question from various college students’ perspectives at different points in their academic careers. Alyamamah Mashrah, Sara Ali, Maryam Mohamed, Mohamed Salamy, and Mohamed Alwishah were featured as student speakers and each was able to answer question regarding student concerns and misconceptions about college.
What really made this event influential was the fact that so many different forms of support were outlined for the audience. Students were encouraged to reach out to their teachers and counselors, to reach out to community members, to reach out to professionals and to reach out to AAYSP members to help shape their academic goals. Making students aware of their options is the first step to getting them on the right track regarding the pursuit of higher education. As students heard the professional and student speakers, they were able to visualize their futures and this was the point of the event as a whole and its emphasis on education – every brilliant future starts with a vision and a commitment to work. If the youth in our community can envision education as a major component of their lives they can easily attain it if they embrace the commitment and use the many resources that are available to them.
Many ask, why is education the sole concern of this group? Well what this comes back to it’s a very simple concept. If we help to cultivate a community that consists of educated respectable and well informed citizens we are cultivating a future that has limitless potential. Establishing mentorship and helping student create and reach their academic goals is the first step in this process and it is something that is within our grasp. We have a strong community that is full of professionals with reputable experience in countless fields. They are model citizens, educators, mentors, scientist, business men and women, and activist that contribute positively to American society. It is time for the educated members of our community to reach out, to have a presence, and to work to ensure that the educational standards for our students are high so that our future standards can be higher.
The AAYSP Board members and members have put in countless days and nights of work to make events like this possible and their work does not end here. They meet every Friday at U of M Dearborn at 6:30 to coordinate community events, school visitations, and workshops that are focused on promoting higher education and they always welcome new members that are committed to the same goal – Higher Education.
If you or someone you know is interested in getting more involved with AAYSP this year please feel free to join us at our weekly meetings or check out their website online at www.aaysp.com.