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History of Celebration of Excellence &
Achievement for Students of African Descent

The Celebration of Excellence & Achievement for Students of African Descent (COEA) was brought into being by the Los Rios Black Faculty and Staff Association, and the event has been occurring in the spring of each year since 2006. In the celebration, students are asked to convene and stand before the community while their names are called and their achievements announced. The ceremony is both serious and exciting, filled with song, drumming, dance and righteous oratory designed to urge the students on to greater heights.

The celebration is important and significant because it acknowledges the passage of the students from one phase of their educational journey to another; it honors their perseverance and their achievement in earning a community college degree, a vocational certificate, or their acceptance into a four year institution.

The goal of the Association in creating the celebration and continuing it annually is to let the students know their struggles do not go unnoticed; to encourage and inspire them to aim higher and go further; to instill in them by example the importance of reaching out to cheer others on toward achieving their goals.

Members of the COEA planning committee work with others in the district to ensure that the celebration is held each year. Students are an integral part of the planning, and they learn valuable leadership skills in the process.

Finally, the community is invited to witness the celebration that commemorates this milestone in the students’ lives. By involving the community at large, the message is conveyed that the colleges within the Los Rios District are sensitive to and supportive of the needs of students of African descent, and extend this support to the communities from which the students come. With the tradition that this celebration has established, The Black Faculty and Staff Association, and the Los Rios Colleges, honor the sacred place that education occupies in African American culture.