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Berkeley City College’s Class of 2016 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

3 June 2016

Introducing Selina V. Gonzalez, ValedictorianSelina

Selina V. Gonzalez, Valedictorian of Berkeley City College’s Class of 2016, arrived in the United States at age 16, a native of a town in the mountainous Hidalgo, Mexico region. “Berkeley City College challenged my way of thinking and provided me with opportunities to improve and exercise my leadership skills by helping undocumented students,” she said. “One of my goals is to advocate for underrepresented peoples and empower them to follow their dreams.”

Gonzalez is a founding member of the Peralta Community College District’s first Undocumented Community Resources Center. A member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, she is a Peralta Foundation Scholarship recipient. Her activities include membership in BCC’s Latin American Club, the Dreamers Task Force and the Political Science Association. As a former ESL student, she continues to provide math and English tutoring for others in BCC’s ESL classes. She also has helped to organize events and has volunteered at Ashby Village, a resource and support center for elders, and at Berkeley’s Chaparral House, a nursing home facility. She was accepted to UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and UC Los Angeles.

Introducing Nicole Rodgers, SalutatorianNicole

Nicole Rodgers, Salutatorian for Berkeley City College’s Class of 2016, is at once motivated and is a motivational mentor to others. She is passionate about political activity, having served at state, regional and local levels in a variety of advocacy roles for both disabled and able-bodied students. “I am hearing impaired and am an advocate for Deaf and hard of hearing students’ rights, both in the community and at the local level,” she asserted. “I am so pleased to be graduating from Berkeley City College; it has been my pleasure to reach out and help students to not only be the best versions of themselves but an empowering resource for other students.”

Rodgers’s many community activities include roles as chief justice of the Associated Students of Berkeley City College. Statewide, she serves as one of 30 student senators for the California Community Colleges Student Senate. That body represents 2.3 million students. Rodgers also was president of BCC’s Global Studies Club and founded the college’s Disaster Preparedness Club. Working with the City of Berkeley, she helps to deliver disaster preparedness resources to under served communities.

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