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Merritt’s Puente Students Join 1,200 Others for Motivational Conference

1 November 2017

Thirty first-semester Merritt students in the Puente Program joined 34 other community college Puente students and their faculty advisors on October 28 for the annual Transfer Motivational Conference at California State University, Sacramento. Along with more than 1,200 “Puentistas” from northern California, they listened to keynote speaker Alex Espinoza (author and professor at Cal State, LA) talk about the transformative effect Puente had on his life 20 years ago.

The students, along with their Merritt faculty team, Evan Nichols (English) and Jose Salceda (Counseling), spent a full day on the university campus attending workshops led by representatives from a wide-range of UCs, CSUs, and private colleges and universities from all over the state. Puente students also chose from an impressive array of afternoon conferences, with topics including “Stress/Self Help,” “Dreamer Resource Center,” “Exploring Health Careers,” “Careers in Criminal Justice,” “Digital Media Art,” “Sports Design and Photography,” and much more.

“This annual conference is at the core of the Puente Program, which has the mission of increasing the number of educationally underserved students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn college degrees, and return to their communities as leaders and mentors,” says Evan Nichols. “The activities took up a 12-hour day and a Saturday, but it was definitely an investment in the future!”

For more information about Puente, contact A. Evan Nichols at or Jose Salcedo at (Photo credit: Birhon Quizhpe)

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