MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Madera Unified students bonded over their shared interests and diverse backgrounds Thursday morning at Madera Community College.
Three motivated Madera South High School seniors lead the Black Student Union on their campus.
They say the club is a safe space for all and a place of opportunity.
The BSU and other seventh through twelfth-grade students were invited to a conference at Madera Community College on Thursday morning, where they engaged in topics not often discussed in a traditional classroom.
"The mission behind the district is to be different, so that means to break tradition. Exposing our students to opportunities that won't necessarily come across in the classroom," said Madera Unified Assistant Superintendent Prince Marshall.
Marshall, a Valley native, says giving back is essential and believes events like this will empower students.
"Connection, belonging, representation, building self-ethnicity," said Marshall.
One of the workshops, run by renowned educator Dr. Chike Akua, allowed students to connect with their cultural heritage.
Other workshops discussed topics including financial literacy, science, and emotional intelligence.
The hope is for all 114 students in attendance to walk away feeling capable and inspired to pursue any dream or goal they set for themselves.
"To have this group of professionals and black professionals at that and educators to come and show our babies where they come from, their past is only going to help them discover who they are and move forward and dwell in these opportunities that they have at their feet," said Alisha Brown, Madera High School BSU Advisor.
"My dream is to be a biochemist engineer, and I am excited for that and for my future."
Marshall interacted with students all morning and said he was also inspired while listening in during the workshops and is already planning another event for students in the spring.