SCEEM barbecue celebrates community members of color and commemorates two years of mentorship


Matthias Jaylen Sandoval

Co-Founders Maddy Blake and Caleb Jakes hosting the second annual SCEEM spring barbecue by the boys dorms.

Matthias Jaylen Sandoval, Social Media/Distribution Manager

SCEEM (Students of Color Empowering Excellence Mentorship) was founded during the 2020-2021 school year. SCEEM started with 3 members, Co-Founders Caleb Jakes and Maddy Blake, and faculty advisor Shelly Kaye. Since then the program has grown to have 60 members. The program offers a lot to students of color such as speakers, workshops and provides a safe space for all students of color on campus. 

SCEEM had its second annual spring barbecue on Thursday May 12. The Co-Founders organized the event such that it was open not just to all program members but to all community members of color including faculty, staff, and security.

The barbecue was held in front of the boys dorms with food, music, dance, and even an ice cream truck. Jakes was on the grill cooking up chicken, cheeseburgers, and hot dogs. He said, “This feels so rewarding, we had our first barbecue of the year back in October and it really had the students of color engaged with our program and now here we are 8 months later. We’ve had a successful program with workshops, barbecues, and speakers and we’re so happy to be together for this last and final time before me and Maddy graduate.”

Co-founder Maddy Blake said, “I feel extremely elated and content with the progress that SCEEM has made and it fills me with so much joy to see all of the students of color come together and enjoy food, laugh, and sing.”

Kaye said, “This feels amazing, there’s nothing better than to see students of color coming together like this and sharing joy. I’m really honored that they asked me to be apart of this and it’s something I’ll never forget.”

 Sophomore Elijah Brooks who is a mentee in SCEEM spoke about his experience in the program. Brooks said, “The amount of care and love that I received from other people changed who I am as a person.”

The barbecue’s turnout was massive as it was packed with community members of color coming together enjoying food, music and dance, and their own time together in a safe space.