Third-year student Luzdelia Caballero (in floral dress) tutored Avelina Salcedo (blue T-shirt) in Project SPELL. They joined other participants at a graduation celebration on June 5.A
Although Avelina Salcedo came to this country from Mexico more than 30 years ago, she was not comfortable speaking in English at her job as a food service worker at UCLA’s Bruin Plate dining hall. “I was ashamed to talk, out of fear of saying something incorrect,” she admitted.
But all that has changed because of a campus program hosted by the UCLA Volunteer Center to help staff like Salcedo in Housing and Hospitality Services as well as in Facilities Management improve their English and computer literacy skills. “I am confident now,” Salcedo said proudly. And last Friday, June 5, she proved it by speaking in English in front of a crowd for the first time in her life.
UCLA student Zach Helder chats with legislative staff member Tiffany Mok during an advocacy trip on Tuesday.
Capitol visit makes headway
UCLA student Trent Kajikawa woke up to a 6 a.m. alarm Tuesday morning, scrambled to LAX, flew to Sacramento, dashed between discussions with as many legislative influencers as possible and flew back home before the night was done – a whirlwind day of advocacy for UCLA and the UC system.
Was it a worthy time investment? To Kajikawa, absolutely, who said he felt his and fellow student Zach Helder’s visit to Sacramento actually made a difference in the state budget conversation. They were heard.
“We’re hitting the nail and really addressing something that can help students succeed,” he said. “We moved the needle a little bit. That, to me, is really something. We just have to continue to stress this.”