Perspective of a Seasoned Pitzer Parent  
by Buenaventura Torres-Ayala P’12, P’15

Being the parent of a senior and freshman student, I’ve experienced many facets of the wonderful support systems of the Pitzer community and have gained much from my efforts to give back to it. Here I share some of those experiences, with the hope that they will be helpful to fellow parents and ease anxieties they may have about their child’s years here.
    
Since the first day my husband, daughter (’12), son (’15) and I set foot on campus, we felt drawn to many of its features. During the campus tour, students and staff were very welcoming and informative. When our daughter decided to apply for admission, we interacted with various members of the administration on several occasions. The processes of application, admission and orientation could not have been any smoother. The staff and administration demonstrated their care then, just as they continue to do so now.   
    
During our first child’s enrollment, my husband and I found various ways to give back to the Pitzer community.  Working with the Office of Parent Relations and the Parent Association, we have helped with Parent Orientation and Family Weekend, selling Pitzer merchandise and welcoming new parents and students. We have also assisted in making summer welcoming calls to parents of new students. It has now become a tradition for us to be involved as volunteers at Pitzer.   

Because of our involvement on campus, we have also become aware of the diversity of incoming families and students. My husband and I, along with two other parents, Albert and Maria Maldonado P’12 and their son, have undertaken an outreach effort to Pitzer’s Latino parents. By coordinating informal get-togethers with this specific group of parents, we help facilitate the college transition of first-year students and their Spanish dominant parents at Pitzer.  We are especially grateful for the guidance and assistance provided by the Director of Parent Relations in the Office of Advancement. The support of this office has helped us increase parent participation in a variety of Pitzer events: the first Latino Tardeada, the Posada, the Rockabilly Fest and Family Weekend.  

This past year, we held successful potluck receptions at the homes of various P’14 families. We had Spanish-speaking guest presenters from Pitzer’s faculty, staff and administration, as well as upper classmen. These family gatherings enabled guests to share their experiences and answer any questions parents and first-year students might have. As a result of these receptions, many friendships have developed among the families, parents and students alike. It has been great to see how several of the parents and students of this group have now become involved in various Pitzer activities.    

Through our participation, we show our gratitude for the educational experience that has benefited our daughter, who just returned from a junior year abroad. This further fuels our desire to give back to the College. and while our personal resources are limited, we are pleased to give a monthly contribution to the Internship Fund and to have contributed to the Benson seat campaign. Through all these involvements, we have come to understand and appreciate the value of the full Pitzer experience. We have discovered that Pitzer College is a supportive learning community, filled with caring personnel. We have witnessed the especially caring nature of Pitzer through our interaction with staff in Admissions, Financial Aid, Student Accounts and Student Affairs. Because we believe that every effort helps, we encourage other parents to become involved and to contribute to the College as their finances allow. Parents CAN help in a number of ways. Join us in being supportive members of the Pitzer Family. Pitzer is so deserving of our support!