A Heart To Heart: Letter From Our Executive Director
To our scholar community,
This marks the conclusion of our third complete year at Central Valley Scholars, and after much reflection, I continue to be in awe with our growth and improvement.
We started Central Valley Scholars with a wish; a wish to heal and support our younger selves to have the opportunities and resources we deserve. A wish to create educational spaces where we feel seen, where we feel valued, where the curriculum is centered with our identities and needs, and where we are given the opportunity and autonomy to dream beyond our horizons. A wish to go to spaces, not because we have to, but because we feel loved and share the common desire to build community with those around us.
This report will share a lot of numbers and quantitative marks of our success and growth. But what I find more meaningful is the level of connection, conversations, love, and community we were able to build with our scholars this year.
The year 2022 provided us with a huge growth in capacity, in which we were given the opportunity to focus on Central Valley Scholars as our full-time commitment and expand in ways we haven’t before. Rather than solely expanding on student reach, we dove deeper to discover what it truly means to meet students where they’re at and develop a curriculum that centers their needs and desires.
This means offering gender neutral restrooms, free tampons and pads, and a pronoun training at our workshops. This means providing scholarship reimbursements so students can attend our services and address the barrier of financial capacity. This means asking for student feedback and actively using this feedback to design and improve our services. This means allowing space for difficult conversations and reflections where students, rather than internalizing their oppression, understand the systems in place designed to exclude them. This means truly believing and automatically assuming that every student we cross paths with is wise, talented, powerful, and has all the potential to change the world.
We have small cohorts but big impacts. Our services are designed to support our students in attaining the higher education they desire, and provide the space for them to dream of the university they deserve.
We share the following data, feedback, and areas of growth with the intention to reflect, take accountability, and together reimagine higher education - not for what it is today - but the power in the possibility of what it can become tomorrow.
Michael Piña (She/He) | President & CEO of Central Valley Scholars
Download The Report
Please click below to download our 2022 End of Year Report.
For program specific reports, please click the links below which can also be found on our news page.