The Latinos Unidos Por Educación (LUPE) is assisting undocumented youths at Bakersfield College through their college years

Teresa Balmori Perez , Reporter

The Latinos Unidos Por Educación (LUPE) organization has been supporting and guiding Bakersfield College students through events and activities to help them succeed throughout their college years. 

LUPE is an organization led by students. It was first established in 2016 and currently has 10 members. The purpose of the organization is to “help undocumented youth by promoting and facilitating a safe space where migrant youth can find youth like themselves,” according to Edith Mata, the president of the LUPE organization. “We partner with agencies that provide services: such as renewing their DACA, Know your rights and learn how to exercise your rights.”

The organization has also started an event called the “Dreamer Open House” where they help undocumented high school students by going to local schools and sharing their college experiences while also assisting them with their BC applications and their financial aid applications, Mata explained. They also welcome incoming freshmen, informing them of the organization and introducing them to the members.

 “We also bring in community organization and BC Resources that will benefit the students as they navigate higher education,” said Mata. 

Another important event that LUPE has held was the “Dear American Social Justice Event” on December 8, 2019. According to Mata, the event introduced two NFL players that both participated in conversations regarding social justice. The event also had student panels, clubs, and artwork for the students. “Without a doubt, this event empowered our students because it proved to them that we can make anything possible,” Mata stated. 

As for helping undocumented youths, Mata encourages current BC students to apply for DACA applications as soon as possible due to the limited amount of applications they’ll be accepting. According to Mata, two attorneys from the United Farm Workers Foundation (UFWF) will be holding free appointments regarding DACA screening and immigration screenings. It’ll be available to students, BC employees, and families. 

As for the future, the LUPE organization hopes to increase the graduation rate for Latinos, Hispanics, and Native American students. 

“We plan to initiate a mentor-mentee program for incoming students to have support by the more matriculated students from our organization and college,” Mata said. 

They also hope to create a stronger and better relationship with CSUB undocumented students as well as continuing to partner with local community agencies. 

For more information, students can go to the BC website and search under LUPE. They can also fill out an application to join or they can email the advisor of the organization, Manual Rosas, or other members.