Students entering Narrowing the Gap Conference at CSUEB Concord
On Friday, November 1, 2013, the Cal State East Bay’s Concord Campus helped to “Narrow
the Gap” with the Contra Costa County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for a day focused on
education. The purpose of the conference was to introduce students to career and educational
opportunities, allowing them to engage with business professionals and educators, and to help
them learn about college applications and financial aid.
As the first buses began to arrive just before 8:00 a.m., nearly 250 students poured onto campus
to participate in various sessions focused on university education. Introductory remarks were
given on the campus quad by both the president of the chamber and Coast Guard Captain Pedro L. Jimenez.
In a sincere effort to draw interest and put young minds at ease, each spoke about their personal
experiences in going to college.
Students were then organized into small groups to work their way through each session. Each
group led by a staff or student volunteer carrying a flag from well-known universities around the
United States. Banners from Stanford, Notre Dame, and a number of California State University
and University of California campuses were chosen to demonstrate the many educational options
The Concord Campus’s Redwood Room was used as a resource room where students could
gain information on various programs available to new college students. Participants were also
given the opportunity to apply for financial aid on the spot. Each student was presented with
a university-donated backpack filled with information about Cal State East Bay and Concord
After lunch and a closing session that incorporated videos from local dignitaries, the students
boarded their buses filled with information and a better grasp of college possibilities.
Concord Campus staff and nearly a dozen students volunteered to assist with set-up, clean-up
and crowd control. The November 1 conference marked the third time in recent years the campus
has partnered with the chamber to promote educational opportunities for Hispanic youth in
Contra Costa County.