Multicultural Services

On Wednesday, Sept. 17, Multicultural Services at Bellevue College hosted their annual fall orientation. A range of people attended, including new students, staff and previous students, creating a diverse audience. The orientation was intended to introduce students to the program and also to meet the staff and other students as well. The event started off with a welcome from Henry Amaya, interim assistant director of the Multicultural Services department and Aaron Reader, director of Multicultural Services. “Multicultural Services is here to provide academic resources for tutoring, advising, mentorship and cultural programming,” Reader said. The event continued on with games to break the ice, raffles and refreshments.

The orientation had many speakers, including leaders of the Bellevue College community and a special keynote speaker, Gloria Burgess. Owla Mohamed, a new incoming student at BC, commented by saying, “Gloria told us her father’s inspiring journey to achieve his dream to go to college, showing us the importance of dreams, purpose and legacy. It showed me that I can do anything if I work hard and keep my eyes on the prize.” Following along with the speech, the orientation continued with tips and strategies for students to be successful throughout their time in college, as well as a student pledge.

MCS’s mission statement is to “serve all enrolled students in general and students of color, lesbian/gay/transgender students, first generation, refugee and immigrant students at Bellevue College. We will assist you in reaching your academic goals and have a fulfilling college experience at BC. We can help you find the right answers in many important areas.” Oriana Estrada, retention specialist at the Multicultural Services department, elaborated, saying, “We serve all students, but we are aimed to help students of color, LGBTQ students, immigrant and other underrepresented populations.”

The orientation ended with a group photo and was followed by the Bellevue College open house and lunch. “I learned so many new things through attending this orientation,” said Mohamed. “One of the big things that I learned is that there are a lot of resources available for me if I need them and how important it is to do extracurricular activities to enhance my college experience.”

For future plans of the department, Reader says that the department will be “continuing to do what we do, to be working towards increasing GPAs of students who are on probation.” Estrada added that the department will “work with more students and expand the program.”

MCS collaborates closely with the student programs and encourages students to be involved through volunteering for events such as the annual Student Color Conference and future orientations. MCS will reach out and announce to students when they need volunteers. The department is located on the second floor of the B Building above the bookstore. Students interested in more information can also visit their website at or contact them by email at To schedule appointments, call (425) 564-2208.