NAKland convinces children college is possible

The men of Sonoma State’s Nu Alpha Kappa fraternity held their annual NAKland event on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. near Stevenson Hall.

It is a free children’s carnival with games, prizes and a variety of educational workshops aimed at elementary and middle school students. 

Nu Alpha Kappa said it is geared toward children from low-income families, was created around the idea for higher education. 

NAKland is an annual event put on for all national NAK chapters by NAK Gamma Chapter. Founded at Sonoma State in 1992, this chapter has brought much of the community and Greek life together with their philanthropy events and fundraising. 

NAKland was designed to ring in “Dia de Los Ninos,” which translates to “children’s day.” To promote the event, the men of NAK went to local schools and churching putting up signs and postings on social media. 

The event was first established because research showed that students who are exposed to college campuses at a young age are more likely to attend one in the future. 

The fraternity held fundraisers throughout the year to provide for the event, including an annual Miss Greek where every participant donated $100 to NAKland. Anyone who attended the event was encouraged to donate a toy or money. 

Every sorority that donated to the event and performed at Miss Greek get their own NAKland table where they could show guests a game of their choice.

Jorge Casanova, NAKland’s chairman, said he enjoys working for the event because it brings the Greek community together.

“If even one child has their perspective changed about college and could walk away with the aspiration of attending one some day, then I would feel everything about NAKland would be accomplished,” Casanova said.

Casanova, who has served as chairman for three years, said NAKland gives children a chance to come to a college campus and learn about the opportunities higher education gives them.

Casanova joined the organization because NAK stood for what he believed in: academics, culture and brotherhood. 

Being the philanthropy chair and president a year prior, Casanova said he will lend a hand this year for the event.

For any young student that believes going to college is impossible, the event ensures that pursuing a higher education is more than a possibility.