Cal State LA president addresses Los Angeles church on CSU Super Sunday

President Covino speaking at Crenshaw Christian Center.

By Jillian Beck | Cal State LA News Service

California State University, Los Angeles President William A. Covino delivered a message of opportunity to the youth of Crenshaw Christian Center as a part of the annual California State University Super Sunday.

“You can succeed in the CSU,” Covino told scores of teenagers gathered in the Youth Activity Center of the South L.A. church on Feb. 25. “You have to stay determined, keep focused, keep getting good grades, and stay in touch with us.”

CSU presidents, trustees and administrators spoke to nearly 100 churches across the state as part of Super Sunday, a partnership between the CSU and African American churches throughout California. For 13 years, leaders have worked together to provide youth in underserved communities with the tools to succeed in higher education.

The seventh through twelfth graders at Crenshaw Christian Center listened attentively as Covino shared information about the CSU application process, financial aid and his personal experiences growing up in Connecticut and later in the San Fernando Valley.

“I was the first in my family to graduate from college and I came from a struggling, working-class background,” Covino said to the group.

Covino noted the success of accomplished Cal State LA alumni, such as Congresswoman Maxine Waters, former state senator and congresswoman Diane Watson, and Ayuko Babu, executive director of the Pan African Film and Arts Festival. CSU graduates are making a positive impact in every field of endeavor, Covino said.

“How many of you have seen Black Panther?” he asked, referring to the blockbuster movie. Hands shot up in the air.

The director, Ryan Coogler, is a graduate of Sacramento State, a CSU sister campus, Covino said. Coogler's parents are graduates of Cal State East Bay. "They're a CSU family." 

Mignonette Bailey, youth minister at Crenshaw Christian Center, praised the work of Cal State LA and the CSU.

“We’re really happy to have [Covino] here,” Bailey said to the youth. “The information you get today is going to help you. It’s going to be relevant for your lives.”

Following the service, youth and their parents spoke with Cal State LA representatives who provided information about admissions, financial aid and university support services.

For more information about the initiative, visit the CSU Super Sunday website.

Super Sunday outreach staff


Photos: Above, Cal State LA President William A. Covino speaks to youth at Crenshaw Christian Center on Feb. 25 as part of CSU Super Sunday. Bottom, Cal State LA representatives provided children and families at Crenshaw Christian Center with information about admissions, financial aid and university support services. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 28,000 students and has more than 245,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit