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Image: EOP E-Newsletter. Educational Opportunity Program, California State University, Long Beach. (group of students)

ESO is Making a Difference

Snow Girls

ESO at the 2005 Human
Relations Summit

The quickly growing EOP Student Organization (ESO) began in fall 2004 and is designed to help EOP students network with one another as well as the campus and community organizations. One of the founding members and ambassador to the organization, Gabbie Monterosa-Ibarra, acknowledges that when she initially came to CSULB, EOP helped her transition into college. “I felt really connected. I went to class, left to go work off campus and went home. One of the only things that I felt comfortable with was the EOP program. I had met people in my EOP 100 class with whom I shared similar past experiences and goals. When I found out about the opportunity to be a part of an organization for EOP students, I knew that it was for me.” ESO worked hard to become recognized as an official student organization. “When we started ESO, there were only six of us. Four months later, there were 15 of us. Today, we have approximately 60 members,” says Gabbie. ESO is dedicated to creating friendships, opportunities, fundraising and contributing to the community.

During the past year, ESO fundraised through Valentine’s Day sales, holiday sales, a booth at the Kaleidoscope Festival and Open House and by collaborating with Carl’s Jr. This past semester, it successfully hosted its first talent show at which scholarships were awarded to the winners. ESO made charitable efforts through its participation in the Relay for Life, a 24-hour marathon to raise money to fight cancer. It was awarded for the “Most Laps Walked by a Team” and “Most Laps Walked by an Individual.” In addition during the month of December, ESO headed a holiday drive for the Long Beach Mission. Students collected clothing and food donations for needy families and individuals. Gabbie says, “We are also planning a children’s literacy festival—and are looking for volunteers—who we hope will get both children and adults thinking about what action they can take to ameliorate the illiteracy crisis here in Los Angeles County.”

EOP Committee

ESO Cabinet Members
(from left) Tracee Logan,
Daniel Kim, Gabbie
and Kristin Love.

ESO cabinet members are most thankful for the friendships they have developed through the organization. Jillian Ott, commissioner of fundraising shares, “I have met some of my closest friends from this club. We are able to support and help each other whenever we need anything.” Gabbie adds, “I feel truly matriculated, a part of CSULB. I have been able to meet so many people who have helped me feel at home here, people who I would have never crossed paths with had it not been for EOP and ESO.”

ESO welcomes new students year-round. During spring 2006 semester, meetings (with free food) are scheduled to be held biweekly on Wednesdays from 12:00–1:00 p.m. in the Multicultural Center.

If students have questions, they may attend meetings, visit ESO in LA3–201, or e-mail “I like to see what the interested students are looking for in a student organization and then explain to them how that fits in with ESO,” says Gabbie. Tracee Logan, commissioner of activities, adds, “Remember, ESO is your organization. If you have any ideas or activities you would like to see become reality, let us know!”

Hillina Jarso is a counselor for the Educational Opportunity Program.