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Laney Colleges’s Class of 2016 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

3 June 2016

Introducing Carmen M. Solis, ValedictorianGonzalez

In 2014, Carmen M. Solis decided she wanted to return to school to complete her studies; however, due to an unpredictable and inflexible work schedule, her progress was hindered. It had been nearly 10 years since she last enrolled in classes, but that did not deter Carmen from making finishing her associate in arts degree a top priority. To achieve her goal, Carmen embarked on a significant career change which enabled her to have a steady work schedule and allowed her to enroll at Laney College.

Even though she knew it would be a challenge to work full-time during the day and continue her studies in the evening, Carmen made a commitment to herself to obtain her AA. Close to achieving her goal, she decided to further challenge herself by enrolling in the Management and Supervision (M/SVN) Certificate Program that Laney College offers in partnership with Alameda County. While busy with work and school, she faced a difficult personal situation when her mother passed away due to a battle with breast cancer. This situation only furthered her commitment to work hard and complete her studies.

The M/SVN program at Laney College has transformed and enhanced her skills as an employee with Alameda County and she has persevered in obtaining her AA. Carmen is now looking forward to a brighter and more confident future as she contemplates her next challenge

Introducing Liming Jiang, SalutatorianRodgers

Education is the most important thing to me because it makes me understand the real meaning of life. I was born in Hunan, China in 1985, in a patriarchal family. My sex and gender doomed me to be looked down upon. When I was a child, I had to take care of my two younger brothers. I often was bullied and beaten up by the adults in the village. I was not doing very good at school, and I was labeled as a stupid student. After my parents’ businesses closed down, I supported my two younger brothers while they earned their college degrees. After that, I told my parents about my plan to earn a college degree as my two brothers did, but they told me that women did not get higher education. I thought my life was unfair and meaningless. After I arrived in the United States, my life changed because of the education Laney College offered to me and the love my husband gave to me. Laney College opened the door for me, and my husband supported me to get higher education at Laney College. In order to build my solid foundation, I started with english as a second language classes, then general education classes, and finally to my major courses. My experience at Laney College completely changed me, and my negative mindset about the meaning of life. I learned how to think. Life is a process of pursuing dreams. They offered many opportunities and lessons to me. What I suffered from life is what I was given from it. The experience at Laney College also opened my mind, and I realized what my perspectives and ideas were, and I started to focus on my community. Right now, my dream is achieved at Laney College, and I have finished my double majors in social science and business administration with a 4.0 GPA. However, I know I am not finished. I am majoring in nursing at Peralta Colleges and preparing myself to serve my community in the future. All things I experienced enriched my life with color. Life can be a painful and frustrating process of growth, but in the end, life is a beautiful, magical, and a wonderful journey.

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