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Welcome to EmpowerED SCU 2024!

EmpowerED SCU is a collaborative event hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Admission, the Latiné Student Union, and SCU Igwebuike, our Black Student Union. This event is made for prospective students in hopes of promoting college-access and allowing students to envision themselves in the spaces they deserve to be in. 

EmpowerED SCU is happening on Saturday, May 18!
Register HERE!

Check out a video from our students on what College and EmpowerED means to them!

EmpowerED SCU

Saturday, May 18

Description Time


Check-in will be at the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation Courtyard. Please park at the North Parking Structure Structure and follow signs for check-in.


Opening Session and Breakfast

Join us for an Opening Session with a Welcome breakfast!


EmpowerED Programming - Students

Keynote Address from Dr. Kai Harris and Dr. Silvia Figueira 
Academic Panel: hear from students about their academic experiences at college, and advice they will give students applying to colleges. Students will also be sharing about professional development communities that they are a part of. 
Student Experience Panel: hear from students about their current extracurricular involvements, social involvements, and student life in college. 


EmpowerED Programming - Parents

Keynote Address from Dr. Kai Harris and Dr. Silvia Figueira 
It Ain't Rocket Science: College Counseling for Everyone: Director of Undergraduate Admission, A.J. Howell-Williams, will share about the college search process, the benefits of being educated, and the path(s) one can take in achieving an education. There will also be a Spanish presentation. Ofreceremos una presentación en Español by Lorenzo Gamboa
Financial Aid Presentation: Our Financial Aid counselors will talk about aid and resources that are open to all students and families and how/where to apply for them. There will also be a Spanish presentation. Ofreceremos una presentación en Español.
Case Study: An admission counselor will take a deep-dive into a mock application.


College Fair and Lunch

Join us for lunch and network with various local college admission counselors and representatives to answer questions about colleges and higher education and your future. Please see below for full list of Colleges and Organizations that will be there. We will end with a closing raffle!


Meet Your Keynote Speakers

  • Dr. Kai Harris
    Hometown: Detroit, MI
    Current Role: Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Santa Clara University in the English Department
    Bio: Dr. Kai Harris is a writer and educator from Detroit, Michigan, who uses her voice to uplift the Black community through realistic fiction centered on the Black experience. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, What the Fireflies Knew, won the 2023 Phillis Wheatley Book Award (Fiction), was long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and nominated for an NAACP Image Award, amongst other honors. Additional publication credits include GuernicaLit Hub, and The New York Times Book ReviewKai resides in the Bay Area with her family, where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Santa Clara University. Learn more about Kai and her writing journey at or on social media @authorkaiharris. 
    Advice: It is OKAY to not know everything. Don't expect to have all the answers or to know exactly what you want to do with your life at such a young age. Instead, put yourself in spaces where you can learn, explore, and discover yourself. With time, you'll figure it all out. Until then, just enjoy the ride!
    Song that brings me joy: Rihanna's 2016 Anti album... one of my favorite albums of all time! Still waiting for her to put out another album.
  • Dr. Silvia Figueira
    Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Bio: Dr. Silvia Figueira received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil, and her Ph.D. degree also in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego. Currently, she is the Regis and Dianne McKenna Professor and Chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Department at Santa Clara University. Her current research focuses on technology for social impact and sustainable development. Her efforst have led to the creation of the Global Digital Transformation Clinic, through which she advises students working on mobile applications for low-resource communities and emerging markets. She has published over 80 papers and has established several collaborations with both companies in Silicon Valley and social entrepreneurs in the United States and abroad.
    Advice for students: Don't assume anything. Talk to a lot of people and ask lots of questions.
    Song that brings me joy: Brazilian Music

Meet Your EmpowerED SCU Planning Committee

  • Hydeia Wysinger ('25)

    Hometown: El Sobrante, CA
    Majors and Minors
    : Psychology and Public Health Majors, Religious Studies and Political Science Minors
    Advice for students
    : Do plenty of research on the schools that you are interested in applying to. It is equally important to make sure that the school(s) you are applying to is a great fit for you!
    Song that brings me joy: 
    Confidence - Ocean Alley

  • Ingrid Sanchez Claudio ('26)

    Hometown: San Jose, CA
     Accounting and Information Systems
    Advice for students
    : Don't be afraid to ask for help during the application process! Many people were in your shoes once and would love to help you get through it as well. There is no such things as a dumb question.
    Song that brings me joy:
    Good Days - Sza

  • Ysidro Magana ('26)

    Hometown: Morgan Hill, CA
    Majors and Minors
    : Mechanical Engineering Major with a Electrical Engineering minor
    Advice for students
    : Ask many questions, be persistent, try to work on essays during the summer, and do not hold yourself back from applying to any school due to the acceptance rate or cost. Visit as many colleges as you can, in general try to work on researching the details of the school.  
    Song that brings me joy:
    Sonrisa - Eladio Carrion

Meet the Collaborative Team

SCU Igwe

Igwebuike - Black Student Union

Igwebuike unites Black-identifying students across Santa Clara University through campus programming, community events, and social justice initiatives to celebrate the African Diaspora.

Featured Events: Love Jones, Culture Show, Igwe Formal, and Retreat.
Instagram: @scuigwebuike


LSU - Latiné Student Union

LSU unifies and gives voice to the Latiné community and our allies to create a safe, inclusive, and respectful space where we can organize together and empower each other. 

Featured Events: Día de los Muertos, Open Forums, Gala Latina, Culture Show, Familias
Instagram: @sculatinestudentunion

College Fair

Below is the list of participating Colleges and Universities that you will be able to meet, network, and ask questions. 

  • Santa Clara University
  • University of San Francisco
  • West Valley College
  • University of the Pacific
  • Saint Mary's College
  • Babson College
  • University of Idaho
  • Mission College
  • De Anza College
  • San Jose City College

Thank you to the following sponsors and partners for supporting EmpowerED SCU 2024!