Cal Bears in the News!

More than a Mirage: Cal Bears Provide Real Community Support for Students in Coachella Valley

By Cal Alumni Association – UC Berkeley

APRIL 7, 2021 – 11:20am | CAA Announcements

Being a new face in a big place can be overwhelming—nearly all UC Berkeley students will tell you that. You try to find where you fit in, but nothing seems to fit quite right at first. Classes are challenging, you’re away from home for the first time—it’s a lot to take in. Discouragement sets in and you might second guess your decision to be there. Then, maybe you meet someone from your hometown and they invite you over for dinner.

The Cal Alumni Association’s Cal Bears in the Desert Alumni Chapter Started as a dinner during Homecoming and evolved into an organization serving students [Click to Read More].


Alumni Show Up for Students and Each Other at Summer Welcome Parties

By Cal Alumni Association – CAA Announcements  

SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 | CAA Announcements

In Southern California, alumni from all walks of life send a strong welcome message to new students.

Southern California chapters hosted four Summer Welcome Parties over two weekends for students and alumni. Incoming students engaged with alumni and current students in Zoom breakout rooms, and enjoyed Cal Band music and Cal-themed trivial games [Click to Reach More].


From Trailer Park to UC Berkeley, and Back Again: One Young Woman’s Commitment to Coachella

By Sasha Khokha, Host – The California Magazine |  KQED

APRIL 13, 2019 | KQED – Inform. Inspire. Involve.

When it rains in the Eastern Coachella town of Thermal, it can get so muddy that cars often get stuck on the unpaved roads running parallel to the lettuce fields. That makes it hard for farmworkers to get to their homes at Camp Fremont, a tiny Park at the end of a long dirt road.

It’s clusters of mobile homes, some with plywood covering holes in the walls, far from streetlights, supermarkets, and cell phone services [Click to Read More].


Many Eastern Coachella Valley natives are returning. Their mission? To Advocate for their Community

By Ricardo Lopez and Janel Wilson | Palm Springs Desert Sun 

JANUARY 28, 2019 | Palm Springs Desert Sun

Thermal native Christian Paiz, a UC Berkeley history professor whose research specialty is the UFW labor activism in the Coachella Valley, explained that the history of activism in the valley dates, which dates back decades, has informed the values of the region, particularly around racial and economic justice.

“There’s a real sense of trying to take care of each other. You go home to help your family and in the process of doing that, you go home and you recognize that the problems that your family are facing are much bigger than just your family” – Christian Paiz [Click to Read More].


Hilda Zarate-Cervantes badly needed a champion. It was March 2015, and the high school senior had just landed an in-person interview for a coveted UC Berkeley scholarship that, for her, would mean a full ride.

Zarate-Cervantes lived in Thermal, a rural, desert community in Southern California’s Eastern Coachella Valley. [Click to Read More].