Umoja bowls for funds

Alex Camilli, @A_Carnation

Among the plethora of programs offered at Los Medanos College there are many who strive to offer beneficial resources for students or all-inclusive events to establish a strong sense of community.

The Umoja Leadership Collective (ULC) which is half of the Umoja Scholars Program (USP) held a bowling night fundraiser at Delta Bowl located on Delta Fair Boulevard in Antioch, CA. The fundraiser lasted from 7 to 9:30 p.m. with a boisterous attendance of those wanted a chance to compete in a beautiful setting embellished with neon lights. Even for non-members the likelihood of meeting someone new was inevitable not only due to the high volume of attendees, but also because everyone present was extremely sociable.

Attendance was $12 a ticket to cover shoes and guaranteed two-and-a-half hours of bowling. USP only profited $5 dollars for every ticket sold during the event, as the residual funds went towards resources for students.

LeeAndra Matthews has been president of USP since fall of 2017 and expressed their concern for the adversity students face financially.  

“We noticed there was an issue with students being unable to afford their books, so we came up with events that go towards book vouchers for students,” said Matthews.

UPS dedicates themselves to helping their members attain academic excellence while also learning about African American heritage. First-generation college students often have to endure nerve-racking uncertainty to reap benefits such as financial aid and scholarships. Program Coordinator Jamila Stewart briefly spoke about how crucial bridging the gap between community and academics is for students.

“Umoja is an Academic learning community that is centered around African American themes, in which students have to adhere to rules and guidelines,” said Stewart.  

In order to join USP students must currently be enrolled and complete English and Math assessments. If approved, students will have the privilege to register for blocked classes for future spring and fall semesters. Aside from academics, the ULC offers leadership opportunities that are universally applicable.  

Taking on leading roles is a necessary life skill and building rapport among contemporaries is becoming increasingly common in and out of the workplace.

Student Alexis Brinson has been a member since spring of 2017 and briefly stated how ULC has helped become more forthright.

“I feel like because of programs like this I’m not as afraid to speak publicly,” said Brinson.

ULC regularly meets in room MA-109 on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and currently has 130 active members. If students are not interested in leadership activities, the Black Student Union (BSU) meets on Fridays from 10 to 11 a.m. in room MA-108.

There ULC will be an upcoming bake sale in November yet another fundraising opportunity.