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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

cultureSHOCK to raise awareness for global education

Instead of staying home Saturday night or heading downtown to the bars, those interested in trying something different can help support international education.

On Saturday night in the Activities and Recreation Center Ballroom, the UC Davis chapter of Visions, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational resources to poverty-stricken countries, is bringing cultureSHOCK to you.

This one-night event will offer performances by The Spokes, Popping Club, Unbound Progression and many other groups as well as raffle prizes and food. The grand raffle prize will be a test prep course from Kaplan Learning Center.

Students, children and seniors can pay $7 for advance tickets, or $10 at the door. For adults, advance tickets are $10 or $15 at the door. The funds raised by this event will help support educational programs, called Children’s Learning Centers, for youth affected by poverty and conflict in South Asia.

cultureSHOCK serves as the last in a series of culturally diverse events that make up International Education Week, which began on Monday.

Venita Sivamani, chapter coordinator and staff advisor of Visions and program assistant at UC Davis Extension, said this is something that all UC Davis students and members within the community should consider attending.

“cultureSHOCK is the must-see culture show of the quarter,” Sivamani said. “This really is a campus and community-wide effort.”

Not only is the event meant to be fun and exciting, but it is also a chance to get involved and even discover new volunteer opportunities, Sivamani said.

Sumitra Tatapudy, junior psychology major and solicitation chair for Visions, added that the ultimate goal is to help eliminate the inequality that comes from the lack of educational opportunities.

“The goal is to provide students K to 12 with mentorship, leadership and the academic preparation necessary for them to reach their full potential and ultimately change patterns of inequality,” Tatapudy said.

Tatapudy also said that some students may also reach a sense of self-satisfaction by attending the event.

“I know first-hand how powerful and meaningful our positive impact can be in bettering life prospects for disadvantaged youth and transforming lives,” Tatapudy said.

Oksana Petrechko, president of Visions Global Empowerment, added that they are hoping to offer impoverished children a chance to better learn how to cope with life’s issues.

“What we are really looking to do is at least give children who are burdened by the most deprived and poor conditions the chance to learn how to cope with life’s problems, pressures and stresses in a better way, as well as learn necessary leaderships skills and develop positive personality changes,” Petrechko said in an e-mail interview.

Petrechko also said that by providing these types of opportunities to children of impoverished communities, they are helping them build foundations to better the lives of the community as a whole.

“While these may be little and intangible things to give to someone who is worried about surviving without food or shelter, we strongly believe that skills learned from the Children’s Learning Centers will act as catalysts in improving the lives of these suffering children, as well as those around them,” Petrechko said.

Tatapudy also speaks from personal experience, and knows that many of the students from UC Davis may have more personal connections to the cultureSHOCK event.

“Having lived in India for a while, I have seen the need for empowerment in South Asian communities very closely,” Tatapudy said. “I understand how difficult it is to emphasize the importance of all-around development in countries like Sri Lanka and India, given the harsh circumstances and psychological stress that people in these countries go through.”

Visit cultureSHOCK’s Facebook event page at www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=181488045250108.

MICHELLE STAUFFER can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

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