Saturday, March 27, 1 p.m., Butte College Arts Theater
Award-winning author and distinguished Santa Clara University professor Dr. Francisco Jimenez will be a special guest of Butte College’s Learn, Experience, Achieve and Prevail (LEAP) Academy on Saturday, March 27 at the main campus, 3536 Butte Campus Drive, Oroville.
Jimenez will be meeting with LEAP Academy students, in the ARTS building starting at 1 p.m. to discuss his book Reaching Out, an autobiographical story of the author’s journey from a migrant community of dilapidated army barracks with no indoor plumbing or potable water to college where he finds kindness and uses his past experiences of struggle and his family’s values to see his way forward. Following his lecture, Jimenez will spend some time answering the students’ questions and autographing books.
“This year the Academy’s book in common, which all LEAP students are required to read, is Reaching Out, so we are thrilled that Dr. Jimenez will be meeting with the students to share his life story as a migrant worker and to discuss his book,” said Brad Zuniga, Butte College Assistant Director of Recruitment, Outreach and Orientation.
This is the fourth year Butte College has offered the LEAP Academy in partnership with Migrant Education, Boy Scouts of America, US Forest Service, Educational Talent Search and California Mini-Corps at Chico State to provide supplementary education and support services to eligible Migrant Education students.
“The program is designed to expose young men and women to a college campus, college instructors and start building their confidence and improving their comfort level so that they can envision themselves as college students. The participants are all first-generation college students and a majority of them are Latino,” explained Zuniga.
The LEAP Academy meets every few weeks on Saturdays, for a total of six sessions, from December through April. In the morning sessions, students participate in Language Arts, Chicano Studies, and Art courses. In the afternoon sessions, students participate in ice breaker activities and career/college exploration.
“Even with the rainy weather we’ve had 85 dedicated high school students from around the county attend,” said Zuniga.
Jimenez, who emigrated from Tlaquepaque, Mexico, to California with his family when he was a child, is currently the Fay Boyle Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Santa Clara University. Reaching Out, published by Houghton Mifflin in 2008, has received several national literary awards and recognitions including the 2009 American Library Association Pura Belpre Honor Book Award; a 2009 Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book; 2009 American Library Services for Children and Young Adults Notable Book; and the 2009 Carter C. Woodson Book Award.