MESA Junior Otters Program, an award-winning summer enrichment program is one of the Migrant Education Student Academies (MESA).  

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Monterey County Office of Education

Leadership, Support and Service to Prepare All Students for Success

Dr. Nancy Kotowski, County Superintendent of Schools

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MESA Junior Otters Program

Junior Otters on stage.

If it seems like college students are getting younger these days, it might be due to the approximately 200 fourth-through-ninth graders who took part in the annual MESA Junior Otters Program this summer at California State University Monterey Bay.

The award-winning summer enrichment program is one of the Migrant Education Student Academies (MESA) operated by the Monterey County Office of Education in cooperation with  CSUMB, El Teatro Campesino and the California Mini-Corps Program.

The four week academy introduces students to university campus life, while focusing on English language arts, mathematics, computer science and fine arts, including theater, music, drama, dance, art and video editing.

On June 30, an audience of nearly 600 friends and family members attended the program’s closing ceremony, where students from grades 4-6 performed plays and older students presented a student-produced video based on the theme of “family.” Luis Valdez, the founder of El Teatro Campesino, echoed the themes of family and creativity in his keynote address.