Students of Color Career Conference

Serving Future Generations


Courtesy Photo

Students, staff faculty and community members come together at the end of the coference to take a picture to remember another successful SOCCC conference.

While many of us were enjoying spring break, the 14th annual Students of Color Career Conference (SOCCC) took place at EvCC. More than 100 volunteers including students, staff, faculty and community members participated in this event to make sure it ran smoothly.  For this year’s SOCCC there was 2,250 students who attended the event.

SOCCC is planned and coordinated by the different staff in the Diversity & Equity Center. With the help of many volunteers, many of them EvCC students, the conference targets a unique experience for students of color in middle school and high school around the area.

During the conference, there are career panel sessions hosted by professionals in the STEM field who are of color. Also available at the conference are financial aid and scholarship information, prizes, food, entertainment and most importantly scholarships were awarded.

My Personal Experience

This year was my second year as a volunteer for SOCCC.

When I was in high school, I attended three times and learned something new about college every time. That is mainly one of the reasons to why I decided to volunteer again without hesitation.

I would say that it is a totally different experience between volunteering and attending the event as a high school student.

You get to see behind the scenes of what is going on and try to figure out what to do in case of something going wrong.

This time around, I was in charge of making sure the second floor of Graywolf Hall was running smoothly. Along with two other volunteers, we had to direct the high school students into the rooms where the sessions were being offered.

Even after being at EvCC for eight hours, running from place to place making sure everyone and everything was going well, it was a satisfying feeling knowing that the high schoolers who attended could have potentially made big life decisions.

The Ones in Charge 

AmeriCorps College Access Coordinator, Ashley Smith, was in charge of coordination of volunteers. This means that Smith along with two other members of her team of College Access Coordinators, Abraham Landa and Angelina Lee, recruited volunteers and divide them into different groups for the day of the event.

This year the volunteer turn-out… “was a lot, we had 130 people all together. Students, staff and faculty, just those ones alone that was probably about 90 to 100 people. Plus, community members on top of that and alumni of the college,” explained Smith.

Smith explained that the volunteer plays an important role in this conference, “They get to be role models, a presence in a student of color’s life … they get to use their leadership their team work skills. As well as being able to network, get to know other students and staff and community members in the area and on campus.”

Some of the tasks a volunteer does include giving directions to the students so they could find their sessions, welcoming students into the gym, helping students find seats and handing out pizza for lunch. There are also people in the buildings to answer any questions students have. No one has an exact role, they go from place to place helping out wherever is needed.

There was positive feedback from the high school students who attended the event. Many got a lot of information from the panelist got motivation. If you wish to volunteer in next years SOCCC keep in touch with the Diversity and Equity Center.

EvCC Volunteers 

One of the many volunteers was EvCC student America Martinez. Martinez has been attending EvCC for two years, however it was her first one as a SOCCC volunteer.

“The event to me seemed interesting, it was something that I would’ve like to attend to when I was in high school. Since I couldn’t be a part of that, I rather volunteer,” explained Martinez.

Martinez attended the pre-meeting, where it was explained to the volunteers what their role was and how the following day was supposed to look like. She soon realized that the day was about so much more, “The day of the event was crazy, a lot going,” Martinez goes on saying, “I liked it, it was a good experience, I would do it again.”

Those Who Attended

Eric Olvera, who’s currently a senior at Glacier Peak High School attended SOCCC for the second time. Olvera heard about the conference through his school and his friends. “What motivated me to go was being able to be around people who are of a different race,” stated Olvera.

“My favorite part (of SOCCC) was the sessions, because I got to know about different careers and colleges,” explained Olvera.

Even though this was Olvera’s second time attending SOCCC, his experience… “was great, I enjoyed meeting new people there and getting to know them well.”

After Olvera graduates from Glacier Peak in June, he will be enrolling at EvCC to get his AA in Business.