Mr. Poveda, a MESA advisor for over 14 years, shared information about the origin of the club and its purpose, “The MESA club was founded in the late 60’s to help underrepresented students go to college and be successful.”
In fact, in order to have a MESA program, you must have a certain percentage of students that are in the category of African American, Latino, or Native American. What this means is that schools like Newport Harbor, whose general population is Caucasian with a higher source of income per family, may not be able to have this program.
Is it fair to the student bodies of these schools to be restricted from having a MESA program even if they show interest in having one? Mr. Poveda shared his thoughts, “Life isn’t fair: I wouldn’t [think so] until money for schools is spread to all.”
A MESA student stated, “Students who have interest in these fields of study should be able to participate in a program like this.”
Are the underrepresented students at CMHS taking advantage of this opportunity? When asked about how many minority students are currently in MESA, Geoffrey Fulkerson, MESA club president replied, “About three or four.” Mr. Poveda gave his thoughts on as to why that is so, he stated, “Because they don’t have an interest in math, engineering, and science, you have to have an interest in these subjects to want to join.”
If the targeted students aren’t taking advantage of the MESA club, then what will become of the MESA club’s future in terms of purpose and regulations? What does it mean for schools that don’t have a larger student body of underrepresented individuals? Only time will tell.