EOPS student program advisor inspired by legacy of Adolfo Corral

The Channels Features Pages | VITAL VAQUEROS

EOPS+Student+Program+Advisor+Alisha+Sanchez+smiles+in+front+of+the+Student+Services+building+on+Wednesday%2C+Feb.+9%2C+at+City+College+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.+Sanchez+is+the+new+program+advisor+for+EOPS%2C+where+she+says+her+goal+to+is+to+make+students+feel+welcome+and+act+as+a+voice+of+representation+for+them.

Rodrigo Hernandez

EOPS Student Program Advisor Alisha Sanchez smiles in front of the Student Services building on Wednesday, Feb. 9, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Sanchez is the new program advisor for EOPS, where she says her goal to is to make students feel welcome and act as a voice of representation for them.

Bianca Ascencio, Features Editor

Vital Vaqueros shines a light on the individuals who help City College upkeep its reputation of being a favorable campus to study at. 

This week The Channels shines a light on Alisha Sanchez, the new EOPS Student Program Advisor overseeing the Running Start program. Running start is a six-week program that assists local high school graduates in transitioning to college. 

“Looking at how far I’ve come in those years. Realizing not only have I gotten this promotion as student advisor but I get to oversee the population of students that I was at that age,” Sanchez said.  

An alumna of City College and CSU East Bay, she looks to inspire and motivate students at the college who are in a similar spot as she was.

“I am so ready for this opportunity,” the new EOPS student program advisor said. 

After being at City College for four years, Sanchez transferred to California State University East Bay where she completed her undergraduate degree. But that was not always her plan.

“I really had no intentions of coming to [City College] or even going to college in general,” she said. “College was something that was completely out there.” 

After graduating from Carpinteria High School, she began her secondary education journey at City College through the Running Start program where she met her future mentor Adolfo Corral.

“City College really became an option for me once I realized that the program could fit me and benefit me,” Sanchez said. 

She recalled how he was so adamant about helping students and reassuring them that they belonged there at college. 

She shared with The Channels that she thought of Corral as her “educational father figure,” since she is a first-generation college student. 

“I always just looked up to him,” Sanchez said. “He always reassured me that I belonged here in college, on campus.”

EOPS Student Program Advisor Alisha Sanchez displays the nametag of her mentor and former longtime City College employee Adolfo Corral on Wednesday, Feb. 9 at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Corral and his wife, Mary-Jane Beccera, died in a hit and run on Feb. 9, 2020.
EOPS Student Program Advisor Alisha Sanchez displays the nametag of her mentor and former longtime City College employee Adolfo Corral on Wednesday, Feb. 9 at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Corral and his wife, Mary-Jane Beccera, died in a hit and run on Feb. 9, 2020. (Rodrigo Hernandez)

Corral was a longtime employee of the college, where he worked for EOPS, the Food Pantry, the Umoja program, and the Center for Equity and Social Justice throughout his career. Corral and his wife Mary-Jane Beccera died in a hit and run on Feb. 9, 2020. 

She recalls being in the Running Start program in the summer of 2012 and thinking how she wanted to be like him. Sanchez said she would call Corral while she was at CSU East Bay for help and to continue reassuring her that she belonged. 

“He was always so reassuring to tell me that this is the hard part and it’s going to continue to be hard. But it will all be worth it in the end,” she said. She added that his favorite word was “tough,” and he would use it in any conversation. 

Sanchez said her goal on being the new EOPS Student Program Advisor is to make sure that all students feel welcomed and to be that representation for them because “representation matters.” 

“Representing the student body that I’m going to be working closely with is a huge plus, not only for me but for the students,” the student advisor said.

She continued to say how important it is to be the role model for the new EOPS students that Corral was for her even after her time in the program. 

“If it wasn’t for SBCC and the amazing people that I met through this campus I would not have accomplished what I accomplished,” Sanchez said.