College hosts first African-American orientation
A local college hosted its first orientation for African-American students.
Grand Valley State University held its Black Excellence Orientation between Aug. 20 and 22 prior to transitions on Aug. 23.
The orientation for first-year African-American students included parent and student meetings, dinners, team-building activities, opportunities to interact with current students, faculty and staff members, and workshops that focused on strategies for success and cultural identity.
About 125 students participated in the inaugural orientation.
The co-chairs for the Black Excellence Orientation were Juanita Davis, assistant director for multicultural affairs, and Nykia Gaines, director for TRIO SSS STEM health sciences.
Laker Familia model
Black Excellence followed the same model as Laker Familia, a student-led organization at GVSU designed to help Latin students succeed through resources, such as orientation, and mentorship programs. Laker Familia has been serving students for four years.
Laker Familia now extends programming throughout the academic year. This year, 109 students participated in the organization, the largest number to date.
The co-chairs for Laker Familia are Salvador Lopez, associate director of admissions, and Raul Ysasi, affiliate faculty of education.