Pathway to success

Creating Pathways is a three million-grant project for first generation and low-income college students, who are interested in attending California State University Northridge and pursuing careers in engineering, nursing, business administration, marketing, accounting, animation, graphic arts and multimedia design.

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, Pierce College and CSUN held a welcome session for students admitted into Creating Pathways.

Creating Pathways Program Director Dr. Juana Mora said the project is very important.

“Abriendo Caminos will be sharing funds and resources with Pierce College to help students in any way possible throughout their education here at Pierce,” Mora said.

Mora said the project will provide students with CSUN student mentors, who will prepare them for campus life at CSUN, and faculty mentors once they transfer to CSUN.

“The goal is to provide students from low-income communities with the support they need so they can graduate in a timely manner and enter their desired field in the workforce,” Mora said.

Raffi Kawhwajian, Creating Pathways Coordinator at Pierce, said that he’s a part of the project because he’s willing to give Pierce College students the support system they need.

“Dr. Juana Mora identified the target areas in the workforce that are significantly underrepresented by low-income individuals and Creating Pathways is here to provide that support and make sure every student succeeds in those fields,” Kawhwajian said.

The Creating Pathways/Abriendo Caminos session also welcomed Axel Cortes-Espino, a peer mentor-counselor at Pierce.

Cortes-Espino shared his story as a DREAMer while attending community college. He also mentioned that it took him nearly six years to finish and transfer to a four-year-university.

“I know the struggle and I can assure you that it won’t be easy but you have the help and resources who want to see you succeed,” Cortes-Espino said.

Nursing student Felicia Turjillo is excited to be a part of Creating Pathways, she said it’s her first semester as a nursing student and looks forward to having guidance on which courses to take and resources for classes and textbooks.

As part of Creating Pathways, Turjillo hopes to build “long-lasting relationships” with her peers, faculty and staff.