CVAI conducted a survey with local residents, local students, previous school administrators and after school programs leaders. It was assessed that Coachella and the surrounding cities such as Mecca and Thermal, have little to no programs available for middle and high school students focusing on life skills and job training. The greater majority of the students in this area come from a household were one or both parents are migrant farm workers. These migrants parents have no other alternative. Once their children are of working age, many times before 16, they join them in the fields passing the legacy on to the next generation.
The College of the Desert Mecca Campus is surrounded entirely by farm fields. When it is time for harvest, you can catch the dedicated laborers out in droves from early morning till early evening.
While attending a local college class in Mecca, I noticed a decline in attendance. I caught up with some students who stopped attending and asked why he stopped coming. The student simply pointed to the neighboring field and said ‘Trabajo’ meaning work. I remembered a speech he had previouly given in class about how his family migrated to the states and how hard is was working in the agriculture industry. It was difficult for him to watch his older mother and father work so tirelessly. He started working with them in his early teens to ease the workload. He is 20 now and still works with his family earning $45 a day. They work mandatory overtime with no pay increase and start the work day at 4AM. -Panel Member, College of the Desert Student
For students like him and others this is norm but, CVAI will offer new options.
Teens and young adults will now have the opportunity to gain job and life skills all over the Coachella Valley with CVAI. We currently enrolling students! They can earn while they learn and obtain skills for the future. If you would like to enroll your child or get your school or students involved, contact us today. Space is limited.