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Outstanding Grads of the Class of 2014: Meet Érika Padilla-Morales

23 May 2014

Erika Padilla MoralesÉrika Padilla-Morales  is a nontraditional Laney College student who hails from Puerto Rican roots. Her academic career was reignited in 2011 after a decade of working with underserved youth in the classroom. She wants to translate this professional experience to the healthcare field and serve young people living with cancer. Her goal to work in pediatric oncology has begun with volunteering at UCSF’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine in their Communitas Program and will continue as she earns her bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Medicine.

Érika thanks her Laney family, including APASS, TRiO, DSPS and Gateway to College programs for supporting her growth as a scholar. They helped her tap into a peer and mentor network passionate about education. She balances her academic work by doing outreach for the Peralta Colleges and volunteering for Bay Area health, arts and food justice organizations. she has found much joy in the comfort of Laney’s dance community and the hospitality of the Laney Bistro.

Graduating tomorrow with Laney College’s Class of 2014, Érika once thought she was incapable of academic work. Through the encouragement of instructors and administrators and inspired by the thousands of young people she has served in the Bay Area, she has exceeded her own expectations. Érika was a 2013 California Academic Team Member and received several scholarships from the Peralta Colleges Foundation, including the Oakland Promise and Foundation Scholars awards.

She is honored to be selected as a 2014 Dean’s Medallion recipient and is proud to stand with her fellow Eagles as a member of the Class of 2014. Érika appreciates Laney College and all of the Peralta Colleges for its dedication to omnis enim scientia — knowledge for all.

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