President Soraya M. Coley came to Mt. Sinai Church of God and Christ in Pomona to deliver a message to the congregation — that education has the power to empower and transform individual lives and communities.
The visit on Feb. 23 to the church was part of CSU’s Super Sunday partnership with faith-based organizations in California. While Coley visited Mt. Sinai Church, representatives from CPP visited three other churches in Pomona on the same day to provide information about educational opportunities the CSU system has to offer.
“The pursuit of knowledge transforms individuals because it broadens our understanding of the world and our place in it,” Coley said to the crowd. “When we seek learning, we find our talents and discover what we hope to achieve in life.”
A recent report titled, “State of High Education for Black Californians,” released by the Campaign for College Opportunity, stated that more African-American Californians are graduating from high school and are prepared for college. Around 89 percent of African-American 19-year-olds hold a high school diploma, an increase of three percentage points from the previous six years.
“But with this positive news, comes a sobering reality: We still have much work to do,” said Coley.
While the number of African-American high school students prepared for colleges has increased, 65 percent have not completed the coursework that is necessary to gain admission to both the CSU and UC systems.
President Coley said that eliminating financial barriers and opportunity gaps is essential to expanding opportunity to a college education.
“We’ve all heard the stories of students with tens of thousands of dollars in debt from college loans. That’s not how the CSU works,” said Coley.
Nearly 85 percent of CSU undergraduates receive some form of financial aid and 73 percent of those recipients have the full cost of tuition covered by grants, scholarships or waivers.
Coley bolsters her message that a college education provides a pathway for economic mobility and professional success. A college education prepares students to contribute in meaningful ways for their local communities, she said.
“Whether you are a young student with college still years away, an incoming freshman, a community college transfer or someone who started college and never finished, CSU is ready to help you succeed,” said Coley. “We want you on our campuses.”