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Meet the new face of Skyline College, Florentino Ubungen

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Building an extensive and solid communal foundation is the focus of Skyline College’s Outreach and Admission’s program. One man in particular has become the face of this mission.

According to the program’s overview page on the Skyline College website, there are a handful of resources and opportunities offered to students to make the transition into college richer.

“Skyline College is here to make your transition from high school to college easy,” the opening statement reads.

There are three primary options the program offers to aid in the transition: the College Connection Concurrent Enrollment Program, the Priority Enrollment Program, and the Jump Start Program. Each of these services aid students in their transfer process and ultimate academic success.

These programs don’t advertise themselves however, and the Outreach Program has designed a way to reach the high school students who could be benefitting from these services. The tactic: Florentino Ubungen.

Ubungen is the Outreach Coordinator, and in turn, has become the face of Skyline.

“I am the college rep,” Ubungen said. “I speak on behalf of the college if need be.”

This introduction sounds formal and uniform, but Ubungen emphasizes how important he finds building real relationships within communities to be.

“The goal is to be the college in the community,” Ubungen said.

Ubungen’s journey was built in the same manner that he hopes to enrich the school with: through strong, natural relationships with community members. He said that when he was first hired, his initial job was to meet everyone. He went from door-to-door, speaking to everyone he would be working alongside.

“It’s definitely something that has evolved,” Ubungen said about the program itself.

He started at a shared desk, and was told to “greet everyone” and now he creates scholarship programs, and goes to high schools to introduce the Skyline community to its educational neighbors.

Ubungen didn’t picture himself working in education, but the position seemed to find him along his path.

“I accidentally ended up here,” he said. “(…) I never thought I’d end up back at education.”

Despite his alternative paths, education followed Ubungen. He studied at San Francisco State University and got his B.A. there. He also studied multimedia and broadcasting at Academy of Art. He was drafted to play baseball in the Philippines at one point. After obtaining his master’s degree, he continued to work. Ubungen described working at Starbucks, Trader Joe’s and Best Buy as humbling experiences.

At one point, Ubungen was teaching at City College and was doing guest lectures. Despite the various paths that he took, education remained a constant presence in his life.

He was presenting at an event for a non-profit he worked for when John Mosby, who was dean of enrollment services at Skyline at the time, approached him and asked about his career path and what he was planning on doing career-wise. He took interest in the fact that Ubungen had a master’s degree in counseling and took him to apply for a possible position.

Three months after Ubungen applied he hadn’t heard anything back and was going to continue onto other things, until he ran into Mosby again. This time, Mosby had a position ready to be filled by Ubungen. That position was the Outreach Coordinator.

“Outreach was one of my departments under my area. He [Ubungen] was (and currently serves) as my Outreach Coordinator,” Mosby said in an email.

Originally, Ubungen shared a desk and worked 12 hours a week. Now, he has his own office, and a supportive program underneath him.

Mosby, as a mentor to Ubungen throughout this process, saw the potential in his spirit.

“I have enjoyed his passion and commitment to students and the college…also, in many ways, Florentino has reminded me of our commitment (as educators) to serving all the communities that will benefit from education and equity,” Mosby said.

Ubungen described the growth he has been forging as the ambassador for Skyline and as the Outreach Coordinator and his goals for the future of the school.

He said that when he started the Outreach Program, there was a variety of input and opinions from each department. His first task was to become the binding force between all of these entities and to create a malleable environment to work in. Eventually, the program became re-established with his hiring. Ubungen said that because of how fresh and new the program was, the sky was limit when it came to what could be achieved.

Bringing kindergartners to check out college was an addition used to get the collegiate mindset introduced to young minds early. The priority program was also re-introduced into the Outreach Program. Wild 94.9 teamed up with the program and Serramonte Shopping Center for an outreach event as well.

Most recently, Ubungen established the very first CRSB Outreach Concert. This event was designed and put together under Ubungen’s guidance and was an innovative way to raise money for the Darryl Burns Memorial Scholarship. Talents from on and off Skyline’s campus showcased talents and community at the event that was the first of its kind.

Ubungen’s goals all push past the borders of the traditional idea of a school Outreach Program. He goes to high schools and introduces them to the potential world of Skyline. Ubungen said that he and the staff at Skyline want to create an environment on campus that feels like a second home, and he provides information to high school students who may be going into the post-high school world blindly.

Despite being the “Ambassador of Skyline,” and the face of the college while out speaking to other educational facilities, Ubungen also focuses a lot of his energy into the college itself. Being a representation of Skyline College is something that Ubungen is proud to do.

Students notice his presence as well. Skyline student Malena Marsh attended the CRSB Outreach concert.

“He seems very sociable, which is great…very positive,” Marsh said.

She was pleased with the concert, and was informed through the event of the scholarship benefit. Marsh also said that she would attend more events like the concert. Ubungen aims to create this type of community with the students at Skyline and with those transitioning into the college life.

“You guys drive me to be the best,” Ubungen said, about the students that he shares the campus community with.

 

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Meet the new face of Skyline College, Florentino Ubungen