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‘The people, the spirit and the heart’

Cal State LA’s Educational Participation in Communities Program celebrates 50 years of service.

Mr.+and+Mrs.+Bayete%2C+Cal+State+LA+Alumni+and+former+EPIC+staff
Mr. and Mrs. Bayete, Cal State LA Alumni and former EPIC staff

Mr. and Mrs. Bayete, Cal State LA Alumni and former EPIC staff

Erron Franklin

Erron Franklin

Mr. and Mrs. Bayete, Cal State LA Alumni and former EPIC staff

Erron Franklin, Copy Editor

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On Friday, the EPIC office now a part of the Center for Engagement, Service and the Public Good held a celebration for its 50th anniversary of carrying out its mission in the community. The celebration took place at the Golden Eagle Ballroom and many of the programs past leaders were in attendance to share reflections of EPIC and how it’s evolved.

EPIC started as a pilot project with young students who were enlightened, purposeful and coordinated group with one common goal: “To help culturally deprived individuals help themselves,” as described by Victoria Mosqueda, EPIC’s Director, who served as the mistress of ceremonies.

It was spearheaded back in 1966 when Cal State LA was just ‘California State College’. The President of the Associated Students, Felix Gutierrez, was at the helm of this new pilot project. He was supported by Dr. Marguerite Peggy Newgarden, the Project’s Principal Investigator. Both were in attendance to celebrate this historic milestone.

Gutierrez took the stage, with the original proposal in hand, to provide context for the idea of EPIC’s creation. “It was a willingness on the part of the student to do something back in the community. Some were from the communities and others wanted to know about these communities,“ said Dr. Feliz Gutierrez. “We were not traditional college students. All of us and probably all of you here lived on a triangle. We didn’t go away to college. We had college, we had where we lived and we had work.”

The celebration required the work of many of the EPIC employees who put forth an innumerous amount of effort to see this 50th anniversary come to life. Some say it’s indicative of everything that represents the program. “It was more of like a community effort and I think that also reflects what and how we serve the community as well. The EPIC office is a great example of how teamwork and the group effort is to use to accomplish a certain goal,” Said Joyce Prado, fourth year Social Work major and employee and staff member at the EPIC office.

In this office that prides itself on community, has also been a place where souls connect. Two staff members from the EPIC office, who are also, Cal State LA alumni fell in love while serving others. Mr. and Mrs. Bayete served the EPIC office back in 70s and says it a place where strong relationships were formed. “I love EPIC. I maintain one of the best friends that I ever ever had in my life. I met a lot of people who had a big impact on mylife. I’m looking forward to meeting up with the people I went to school with and studied with,” said Mrs. Bayete.

“Established in 1966 by Associated Students, Inc., and the Division of Student Affairs, the Educational Participation in Communities (EPIC) program was created in the wake of the Watts Rebellion of 1965 to help address critical community needs by placing student volunteers in local nonprofit organizations.”

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‘The people, the spirit and the heart’