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PUENTE Student Conference

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In collaboration with Academic Affairs, University Advancement, and Student Affairs, Cal State San Marcos hosted the PUENTE Student Leadership Conference for the first time on Saturday, March 18, 2023. The PUENTE Project is a four-year college preparatory program co-sponsored by the University of California and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. PUENTE is designed to increase the number of educationally underserved students who enroll in four-year universities, earn degrees, and return to the community as leaders and mentors to future generations.

Sponsorship generously made possible through philanthropic funding by CSUSM Foundation Board Chair Steve Wagner and Laura Wagner to support social mobility initiatives and access for students to follow their dreams.

Agenda at a glance

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Photo Gallery

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Student Workshops

Parent Workshops/Talleres para padres

  • The Role of Parents in their Children’s Education / El papel de los padres en la educación de sus hijos


    This workshop focuses on the expectations of being the parent of a college student. Parents will get tools to become strong advocates and supporters of the education of their children from K-12 to higher education. 

    Este taller se enfoca en las expectativas de ser el padre de un estudiante universitario. Los padres obtendran herramientas para convertirse en firmes defensores y partidarios de la educación de sus hijos desde K-12 hasta la educación superior. 

  • What is Financial Aid? / ¿Qué es la ayuda financiera?


    This workshop focuses on financial aid and how to pay college tuition. It will help parents understand what kind of aid is available, including scholarships, loans, and federal and state money. 

    Este taller se enfoca en la ayuda financiera y como pagar la colegiatura. Ayudara a los padres a entender que tipo de ayuda existe, incluyendo becas, prestamos, y dinero federal y estatal. 

Keynote Speaker

Reyna Grande, Award-winning Novelist and Memorist

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Reyna Grande is the author of the memoirs The Distance Between Us and A Dream Called Home, and the novels Across a Hundred Mountains, Dancing With Butterflies, and A Ballad of Love and Glory. Her books have been adopted as the common read selection by schools, colleges, and cities across the country. 

Born in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico, Reyna was two years old when her father left for the U.S. to find work. Her mother followed her father north two years later, leaving Reyna and her siblings behind in Mexico. In 1985, when Reyna was nine, she left Iguala to make her own journey north.

After attending Pasadena City College for two years, Reyna became the first person in her family to set foot in a university. She went on to obtain a B.A. in creative writing and film & video from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Antioch University.