One of the six retention projects in the Community Programs Office is RAIN! which stands for Retention for American Indians Now! Thalia, the Project Director recommended Kaiya to be my counselor because she is a transfer student like me. After having a session with Kaiya the Peer Counselor Coordinator for RAIN!, I asked her if I could interview her in order to allow others to become more aware of the services that are available to them.
When I asked Kaiya about what RAIN! Was she stated, “We are a retention project that serves Native students and Pacific Islander students because of the history of not being brought up in schools due to the historical trauma.”. Something that Kaiya touched on that I felt I related to was the concept of adjusting to a university like UCLA. Many students like myself don’t know that there are services like RAIN! that can help us ensure that we graduate on time or support us through our daily obstacles.
I learned that there are three components that RAIN! offers which are peer counseling, wellness, and mentorship SUN families. Peer counseling focuses on academic counseling and ensuring that students meet their requirements. Kaiya mentioned the following, “It’s really easy to run into roadblocks because a lot of students are uninformed on the different policies when it comes to making sure they’re gonna graduate on time.” I know that from my experience I did not know anything about the DARS when I first transferred here. The wellness program offers workouts and the other component of wellness are historical workshops where one can learn how to bead, make Yaqui flowers,…etc. Supporting Undergraduate Natives families are part of the last component which is mentorship. Graduate students mentor undergraduate students and earn points through social gatherings, I must admit that this is pretty competitive. Kaiya stated, “The mentorship pairing with graduate students and undergraduate students helps make connections and resources for undergraduates that are looking towards grad school or life after finishing here at UCLA their undergraduate program. So we try to match the families together with similar interests.” I really like that the components are all different and take a holistic approach towards a college student’s life.
I will leave you all with the last comments from Kaiya in regards to why students should be a part of RAIN!
“ Students should be a part of RAIN! Because it is a very unique experience to be able to connect with a culture that a lot of people aren’t introduced to and a lot of people are unaware of. So awareness of our culture and the prevalence of it and how it’s still alive today that’s really important. Supporting students and making sure that their transition here at UCLA is as smooth as possible is also important because we don’t want them to have to leave behind their culture when they sacrificed going from their home to UCLA. We want to always offer them that support of having their culture while they are here at UCLA.”
Check out RAIN!’s upcoming event with [FITTED]-> https://www.facebook.com/events/949312688536943/950010948467117/?notif_t=like¬if_id=1485933691849429
Interested in learning more about RAIN!-> http://www.cpo.ucla.edu/src/retention-of-american-indians-now/