I’m Arturo Aguirre and thanks to community college I am graduating from UCLA next month! This summer, Heads Up America will profile current and former community college students, like me, who have benefited from a “College Promise” program, which provides a free community college education. Here’s my story to help kick off this “Summer Stories Series.”
I was born and raised in the small town of Santa Paula in Ventura County, California. My parents are working class Mexican immigrants. Raising my two sisters and me wasn’t easy. They’ve always encouraged us to pursue an education because they want a better life and opportunities for us.
During the college application process, I realized that I couldn’t afford to attend a four-year institution. That’s when I learned about the Ventura College Promise. Community college offered a more affordable and practical route.
After two years at Ventura College, I transferred to UCLA. UCLA accepts more transfer students than any other top-tier school in the country. My time at Ventura College strengthened my study skills and educational fundamentals, helping me succeed at the next level. I was also very fortunate to receive a scholarship from the Ventura Foundation that helped fund my time at UCLA.
I wanted to give back, so at UCLA I joined The Center for American Politics and Public Policy (CAPPP). Through CAPPP, I was selected for an internship at Scholarship America’s Washington, D.C. office where I supported policies to help underprivileged students access higher education.
I know I wouldn’t be graduating from UCLA next month without the Ventura College Promise. I’m grateful that so many people across the country are supporting Heads Up America to ensure students like me can achieve their potential.
PS: Do you have a powerful community college story? Share this image with your story and use #HeadsUpAmerica!
The Student Senate for California Community Colleges will open its application process in order to create a pool of candidates to be forwarded to the Governors Office.
The SSCCC will be choosing a student to sit on the Student Aid Commission as one (1) student member. Due to the competitive nature of this prestigious position, the Student Senate Council has outlined an application process to determine the best qualified candidate(s) and submit their application(s) for review to the Governor's Office.The vision of the Student Aid Commission is toward a California that invests in educational opportunity, fosters an active, effective citizenry, and provides a higher quality of social and economic life for its citizens.
All applications are to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and no later than May 29th, 2016 at 5:00PM (Failure to email both will result in disqualification). Please fill out the application to the best of your capabilities; information requested is simply required by statute and required by the Governor's Office. Attached are the Application Form and current timeline for the California Student Aid Commission Student Member position to be filled.
We are looking forward to your participation and hope to see a competitive applicant pool this term!
It's been a long year of success for this year's Roosevelt Team! See further details here.
Student Senate for California Community Colleges Press Release: May Revise Lacks Cal Grant Investment
Yesterday, Governor Brown released his May Budget Revision. In this revision, he not only highlighted his commitment towards promoting accessibility by integrating technology into instruction, as evidenced by his proposed $5 million (one time) funds for creating Zero Textbook Cost Degrees, but also his intent on spurring basic skills reform through maintaining the funds allocated towards the Basic Skills & Student Outcomes Transformation Program. Furthermore, by preserving his $200 million investment into the Strong Workforce Initiative, Governor Brown outlined his vision to support community colleges in offering programs that our unemployed or underemployed students need.
According to Vice President of External Affairs Galeana, “although the SSCCC is considerate over the Governor’s attempt to invest in our system, a significant investment is lacking within his budget; a desperate need to expand our state’s Cal Grant Program. The importance of this investment cannot be underscored; by 2025 California will need to produce 2.4 million more degrees that it is currently on track to produce.”
President Salem followed up on Vice President Galeana’s comments by spotlighting that “in order to ensure that we reach the threshold, our state needs to give its neediest, low-income students the financial assistance necessary to afford an education. For community college students, the Cal Grant B Access Award can provide us with this financial assistance. This is especially important when considering that 90% of the total cost to attend a community college stems from non-tuition costs, such as housing, food and transportation.”
As an organization that represents 2.3 million community college students statewide, the SSCCC feels compelled to highlight its discontent with the lack of investment towards the Cal Grant Program in the proposed budget. By not investing in the program, we are not investing in our state’s most at-risk students.
Yesterday I had the great privilege of participating in my last Board of Governors meeting as the Voting Student Member. My term officially needs in June, and there's still work to be done, but I'm confident that the California Community Colleges System will continue moving in the right direction long after I'm gone.
Governor Jerry Brown released his May Budget Revision at 10:00am this morning. The revisited budget may be found here.
In Case You Missed It
United States Department of Energy Reports That Fracking Continues to Reduce Carbon Emissions Nationwide
The Orange County Register recently reported data showing that hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) is helping make the United States a world leader in reducing carbon emissions – benefitting the environment.
“Over the past 14 years, our carbon emissions are down more than 10 percent. On a per-unit-of-GDP basis, U.S. carbon emissions are down by closer to 20 percent.
“Even more stunning: we’ve reduced our carbon emissions more than virtually any other nation in the world, including most of Europe…The primary reason carbon emissions are falling is because of hydraulic fracturing – or fracking.”
“Thanks to fracking and horizontal drilling technologies, we are producing more natural gas than ever before. Natural gas is a wonder fuel: it is cheap. It is abundant ... And it is clean-burning.”
To read the full article, please visit The Orange County Register. To learn more about the environmental benefits of California energy production, visit our website at www.energyindependenceCA.com.
Student Leaders & Interested Parties,
After four long years, the Student Senate for California Community Colleges is proud to unveil its newly adopted Constitution! During this same General Assembly, the Student Senate for California Community Colleges celebrated its 10th birthday. Here's to 10 more years of student empowerment!