Mission and History

Cal Bears in the Desert has a dynamic history of collaborating with local Cal alumni, parents, volunteers, donors, as well as the admissions department, Cal Athletics, and other campus groups to support a tradition of excellence as the number one public university in the world.

Cal Bears in the Desert was officially recognized as a chartered member under the Cal Alumni Association in the spring of 2013, after nine years of community outreach to promote the University of California, Berkeley in the Coachella Valley. The group acknowledged a need for a notable local presence of UC Berkeley alumni to assist with effective outreach at local high schools, college fairs, and College of the Desert. Cal Bears in the Desert is looking to increase networking opportunities for alumni, current students, Cal parents, and campus groups in the Coachella Valley, as well as establish connections with local business professionals and organizations.

Annual Homecoming Student Dinner at Cal

Cal Bears in the Desert hosts an annual Fall Dinner for current Cal students. During this event, alumni are invited to share their perspectives and advice on job searching, internships and preparing for careers after graduation. We partner with groups on campus that provide financial aid, tutoring assistance, and food assistance to students to ensure that they meet the people in charge of these departments and where they can go for assistance to feel supported during their time at Cal

Annual New Student Spring Reception

Cal Bears in the Desert has organized annually in conjunction with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and other Campus organizations including the Educational Outreach Program and Office of Student Life/Student Housing. This event seeks to provide important information regarding housing, financial aid, majors and registration deadlines to newly admitted Students from Riverside County and imperial County, as well as their parents.

Cal Football Game Viewing Party

Cal Bears in the Desert organizes several events for CAL alumni to gather to watch our Golden Bear Football team when they are unable to attend games in person. This is an opportunity for our local and visiting alumni to catch-up and to show our love and support for our team.

Dorm Room Essentials Scholarship

Cal Bears in the Desert in collaboration with the Oscar G. Armijo CPA Latino Leadership Scholarship – UC Berkeley, donate funds to purchase dorm room essentials for freshmen students from the Coachella valley who may have a financial needs that makes it difficult to afford the basic items including bedding, shower totes, towels, trash bins and laundry hampers.

Golden Bear Express

This newly organized program is funded through Cal Alumni donations. Through that funding, Cal is able to provide low-income freshmen and transfer students from Southern California with free flights to the Bay Area at the start of the Fall term. Alumni come to the various airports in Southern California to assist students with check-ins and provide care-packages to ensure these students do not go hungry throughout their day of travel. Cal Bears in the Desert participated in this event in 2018 at the Ontario CA send-off.

New Student Summer Send-Off

Cal Bears in the Desert organizes an annual gathering each summer to welcome local freshmen and transfer students who have registered to attend CAL during the Fall. This is an opportunity for Alumni to meet and mingle with these future Cal alumni and share their insights as former Cal students

Ongoing High School Outreach

Cal Bears in the Desert members volunteer to go to each high school in the Coachella valley to meet with students and counselors and provide information about applying to Cal and sharing our experiences as former Cal students to those who are interested in applying to our alma mater.

Parent College Toolbox (PCT)

In collaboration with One Future Coachella Valley & Oscar G. Armijo CPA Educational Fund, Cal Bears in the Desert members participate in workshops and presentations for parents and students who are interested in applying to college to help them understand the scholarship, FAFSA and school application process and answer questions for students who are interested specifically in Cal as well.

Winter clothing donation drive

Cal Bears in the Desert collects winter clothing items including jackets, gloves and umbrellas to assist current students at Cal who may not be able to afford these items with their budget

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