Puente brings students together

Alex De Santiago

“We stick together like a family,” Puente club member Brea Martinez said during LMC’S annual Club Day event held earlier this semester.

Club members were nothing but smiles as they explained how their group focuses on both education at LMC as well as understanding the hardships in the Latino community, and works to send students out determined and ready to inspire change.

“It’s great because you take English 90 and 100 with the same course Instructor,” Puente President Daniela Martinez said during an interview as she briefly explained the advantages of being a member of the Puente program and how it can positively affect your success at LMC. The Puente Club is affiliated with the Puente program in which all Puente students take consecutive English classes with the same instructor.

Martinez added that staying with the same teacher benefits students so when a new semester of English starts they don’t have to worry about a change in instructional methods and can instead focus on learning new material.

Puente now has 30 club members but they plan to keep growing. Teachers and classes are discussed at regular meetings,” held Tuesdays at 9 a.m. in Room CC2-222 said Martinez, adding that the main purposes are support.

“The club’s main purpose is to educate students academically as well as prepping them to inspire change in their community,” said Counselor Elizabeth Abril who explained the relationship between the Puente Club and the Puente Program. “The Puente Club is open to all students who are interested in networking with other student leaders on campus. Students are encouraged to be active, participating in both on campus and off campus community events,” she said.

The differences of the Puente Club and the Puente Program were explained between the two. “The Puente Program are for those students who wish to transfer to a four-year college or university, who want to develop leadership and networking skills, and for those who are interested in exploring multicultural experiences,” she said.

Applying to join is simple. “Puente is a really great special experience, I strongly recommend everyone to sign up,” said Martinez adding that interested students must take an assessment placement test, either at LMC or the Brentwood Center.

If you are a graduating high school student you may take the assessment test in March and April, and need to be placed in an English 90 course to be eligible for the program.

Before acceptance students are required to attend an orientation, meet with a Puente counselor and complete a student profile.

Both Puente member and coordinators are planning a Higher Education Conference May 11 for high school students as well as any LMC students. The program it is open to anyone who is interested and will include workshops and guest speakers from a variety of careers. It is open to anyone interested, and those who are interested could sign up for it with a Puente Counselor.

Puente intends to encourage students to pursue educational goals and take use of resources offered. “Meetings are open to anyone who is interested in joining,” Abril said adding, “Its all about students educational success and readiness to inspire change.”