BC raises world class men

Bellevue College hosted a group of students from Cleveland High School on Tues., Dec. 1. They arrived in the morning by bus and were guided by Joel Allen into C130 for breakfast. Allen, BC’s Justice of External Affairs brought them for an event he had planned and hosted, titled World Class Men.

World Class Men is a class new to Cleveland this semester, aimed at teaching students life skills. The class was offered to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Every day after the class which is held three times a week, there is a mentoring session. Vincent Watson, the academic dean of Cleveland High School, said the target for the course was students who may not have been on track to graduate. “It’s a credit class with an extracurricular benefit,” said Watson.

Cleveland High School students participate in Eric Davis’ sociology course.
Cleveland High School students participate in Eric Davis’ sociology course.

As the students ate, several ASG members and BC staff including Faisal Jaswal greeted them.

Jaswal said that although he encouraged them to attend BC, it didn’t matter where they went to school; what mattered is that they went to school. He said that they were all leaders, and encouraged them to face the challenges ahead.

He wanted them to be active participants as they experienced a day in the life of a college student. “You need to be able to have a presence and engage with people,” Jaswal said.
In closing, Jaswal quoted Peter Drucker, an Austrian-born author, professor and management consultant, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

PALS Center Coordinator Tess Ames taught the Cleveland students about student jobs, applications and resume development. She showed them how student employees are selected and hired by giving them sample resumes, which she asked them to read over and analyze according to the minimum qualifications she outlined for them.

“Student employee jobs are highly competitive,” said Ames. As the students discussed the resumes, Allen helped them, gave them advice and encouraged them to get an on-campus job if possible.
Following the job guide by Ames, the students experienced a college classroom, sitting in on Eric Davis’ sociology 101 course. Davis geared the class for the day to the visitors, showing a presentation about health and engaging not only his own students, but also Cleveland students in the discussion.

Allen regarded the students as “all brilliant, all forward thinking.” He said that there was nothing they couldn’t do and he wanted them to be the best version of themselves.  He was a mentor for The World Class Men class, so he had gotten to know the group of Cleveland students prior to the event.

Allen is a mentor for the Urban League of Seattle’s Project MISTER, which stands for Male Involvement and Service to Encourage Responsibility. “Cleveland just so happened to be the school I was stationed at. I couldn’t have found a better school, I couldn’t have found a better class, so I was extremely fortunate,” Allen said

When first attending BC Allen began as an employee at the PALS center. He campaigned for ASG president last year, and though he didn’t win, he was hired as part of BC’s judicial committee. Joel wanted to help the community by giving the boys a new perspective and showing them opportunities they might not have otherwise known they had. “This is where I started right after high school. This is where I learned how to hone and better myself,” Allen told the Cleveland students.

“I want them to see themselves here, see themselves achieving,” Allen said earlier. The Cleveland students had little interest in attending Bellevue College, but in Allen’s experience, BC is “so much better than a lot of universities.”

He encouraged students to apply to BC, even if it wasn’t one of their schools of choice because of BC’s open enrollement. He informed the students that weren’t yet seniors about the running start program. “They need to see opportunities that are in front of them,” said Allen.