Good Day Fellow Gauchos and Welcome!
My name is Aaron Jones and I serve as Director of the Educational Opportunity Program at UC Santa Barbara. I want to welcome you to this academic year, welcome you to EOP and to what will undoubtedly be the continuation of significant, powerful and unprecedented change in your lives and our world.
To say these are precipitous and challenging times would be a gross understatement. Yet, in spite of all that swirls around us, in spite of the unprecedented and unforeseen hardships, in spite of our temporary inability to be with one another…, WE ARE STILL HERE!! In spite of it all, not only are we still here…, YOU are here (even if in a virtual platform). That in and of itself is a truly Herculean accomplishment worthy of recognition, praise and adoration. YOU ARE STILL HERE!!
We in the Educational Opportunity Program remain steadfastly and unflinchingly here with you. Our department is rooted in the quest for equity, equality and access to education from the Civil Rights Movement and our beginnings in 1966, to this very day and beyond. Our passions and motivations are grounded in the awareness of our collective humanity. Our service is in full and honest recognition of the fact that our work is, fifty-four years later, still desperately needed in support of our students who have historically not been afforded the opportunities to attend college, much less a top-ten, internationally recognized, research-one public institution of higher education such as UC Santa Barbara. Our commitment is to support you all and offer you a place of solace, a place to find abundant resources and information, a place of comfort, of meaning…, a place you can call home.
Please do not hesitate to call upon our seasoned, compassionate, professional staff in EOP to assist you with your academic, financial and/or personal counseling needs. You can contact us via email, by phone at 805-893-4758 or you can make an appointment directly with our Counselors via our website. Always remember, you have worked hard and overcome incredible obstacles to be here. You deserve to be here. And you are not alone. Your success is our success and together we will get through these challenges one day, one moment at a time.
We hope this finds you all well and welcome to a new world! Now, let’s take care of ourselves so that we are best prepared to take care of each other, our communities and help make this world a better place for all!
Aaron E. de Santiago Jones, M.A.
Director, Educational Opportunity Program