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Posts Tagged Salutatorian

2017 College of Alameda Salutatorian + Peralta Valedictorian Speeches

15 June 2017

 

Esther Pillitiere, Salutatorian for the College of Alameda graduating class of 2017, brings her message of inspiration and hope to the Peralta College Board of Trustees.

 

On the Peralta Youtube page, you can view the commencement speeches given by each of the college valedictorians

Merritt College 2017 Valedictorian Asmita Neupane

Berkeley City College 2017 Valedictorian Patrick Kruger

Laney College 2017 Valedictorian Pauline Johnson

College of Alameda 2017 Valedictorian Fudhah Al Khafaji

 

Filed under: Announcements, Berkeley City College, Board Spotlight, College of Alameda, Laney College, Merritt College, Peralta News, Uncategorized. Tagged: , , , , , ,

Merritt College Honors its Valedictorians and Salutatorian

30 May 2017

Merritt College is proud to introduce our highest achieving students of the Class of 2018 who were honored at the 63rd Annual Commencement Ceremonies on May 23. In a reflection of Oakland’s diverse culture, they come from all over the world, have studied a wide range of academic interests, and have bold opinions of their own. But they all share the belief that Merritt has been a great educational beginning to their lives as they move on to help shape the world.

 

Alessandra Chimienti: From Italy to Merritt College With a 4.0 GPA and Role as Valedictorian

 

After just one semester at Merritt College, Alessandra Chimienti’s business instructor, Fereshteh Mofidi told her that she would be Valedictorian of her graduating class. Alessandra found that hard to believe at the time, given the fact that she had arrived from Italy less than two years earlier without knowing a word of English. Plus she was still trying to get accustomed to an American college and the language.

But on May 23, her instructor’s prediction came true as Alessandra was called to the podium to deliver her speech as the Valedictorian. She was also chosen to represent Peralta District’s International Students community by being the Valedictorian and delivering a speech for their graduation as well.

Despite the initial language difficulties, Alessandra achieved this incredible honor as Valedictorian for receiving the highest GPA in all her studies, maintaining a 4.0 throughout her two years at Merritt College. She received three Associate Degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, and General Business, and three Certificates, all in business.

“It’s not easy for international students to leave their friends and family to pursue their education in another country,” says Ms. Mofidi. “But it shows how strong they are about their goals. Alessandra is so intelligent that she would ask me questions that I had to research myself to find the answer. That’s why I knew she was destined to be the Valedictorian. I wish her the best of luck.”

Born in Puglia, in the south of Italy, Alessandra earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with highest honors (summa cum laude) before coming to the United States as an Au Pair for an Oakland family who she loves and considers her “American family” for their ongoing support and for serving as a role model for her.

With a future goal of studying business, her first challenge was to learn the language. She accomplished this by taking intensive English classes, volunteering as a tutor for two years in an elementary school in Oakland, and following subtitles on American television shows on Netflix. When she felt comfortable enough to start college, she ended up at Merritt and has never looked back.

During her two years, she has served as treasurer of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and worked in Business Services where, she says, Dr. Dettie Del Rosario has mentored her and been an inspiration. “I felt so honored working in the Business Office and being the PTK treasurer,” says Alessandra, “as they have exposed me to the
business operations of the community college system, taught me skills that I would have never learned just by studying, and allowed me to utilize the education I have achieved at Merritt.”

Dr. Del Rosario says she feels blessed to have the opportunity to mentor Alessandra. “She is willing to learn and always shows enthusiasm and commitment. She displays professionalism in dealing with faculty, staff, and students who come to the office. Her attention to details, her resourcefulness, and her great personality will be her keys to a successful career.”

Alessandra’s next goal is to get an MBA, and she doesn’t hesitate to give credit to Merritt for getting her to a place where that is possible. “All of my family in Italy is thrilled and proud of me for my accomplishments, and this alone makes all my hard work worthwhile. I miss them every day, and my achievements are my way of telling them that I love them,” she says. “Even my mother is coming to America for the first time to see my graduation. I couldn’t have had a better experience at Merritt. I’ve loved my time here at this beautiful college, and I will cherish these memories for the rest of my life.”

 

High-Achieving Valedictorians and Salutatorian Highlight Merritt College’s 62nd Annual Commencement

 

With the theme, “Moving In, Moving Through, Moving On,” Merritt College celebrated its 62nd Commencement Ceremony on Wednesday, May 24. Out of a total of more than 900 students who received associate degrees or certificates or who will be transferring on to further their education, more than 350 participated in the ceremony. Honored during the ceremony were two valedictorians and the Salutatorian, all introduced by Dr. Jeffrey Lamb, Vice President for Instruction.

Asmita2

Valedictorian Asmita Neupane

Valedictorian Asmita Neupane came to Merritt from her home country of Nepal. She achieved a 4.0 in her studies and received an Associate’s Degree in Health Sciences with her ultimate dream goal of becoming a nurse. She is currently getting experience by volunteering at San Leandro Hospital.

Valedictorian Anya Elizabeth Edwards majored in Administration of Justice and graduated with an Associate in Science for Transfer Degree with a 4.0 GPA. She will be transferring to Cal State East Bay and in the future plans to work in the law enforcement field.

Berenice

Salutatorian Bernice Diaz Estrada

Salutatorian Berenice Diaz Estrada was born and raised in Oakland and graduated from Oakland High School. She came to Merritt because of the excellent reputation of the Radiologic Science Program and is hoping to start the program soon. In the meantime, she has earned Associate Degrees in both Health Sciences and Natural Sciences and a Certificate in Teacher Assistant. She graduated with a 3.96 GPA.

Commencement Speaker Dr. Siri Brown, a passionate and committed educator at Merritt who is currently serving as Interim Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, gave a truly inspirational speech honoring the graduates for their successes no matter how long it took, how many challenges they had to face, or how many people may have discouraged them.

For the first time, Merritt’s newly appointed president, Dr. Marie-Elaine Burns, presided over the ceremony.

“It is an honor to have participated in this year’s Commencement ceremony and be surrounded by all of the students who worked so hard to get to this point,” says President Burns. “Whether they are getting associate degrees, certificates, or transferring, we are proudly looking forward to watching them achieve success beyond college and demonstrating how much Merritt College has changed their lives.”

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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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Merritt College’s Class of 2016 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

3 June 2016

Kim-PhamIntroducing Kim Pham, Valedictorian

While living in South Vietnam, the youngest of six children, Kim Pham wasn’t able to achieve her dream of furthering her education. And when she came to the United States with her husband in 2000, she needed to work to help support her family, which now includes two young sons. So five years ago, when she finally had the opportunity, she was thrilled to begin attending Laney College, which was close to her home, to take ESL classes to learn English.

She then completed her General Ed requirements and started taking classes at Merritt College with a goal of becoming a teacher and fulfilling her passion of working with children. She quickly headed to the top of the class in her studies and also worked as a preschool teacher at Headstart in Oakland. She graduated in May with a 4.0 GPA and was proud to be named valedictorian.

She will continue her studies at Cal State East Bay. “I faced many challenges with cultural differences, language barriers, and understanding a new environment,” says Kim. “However all of my hard work has paid off today, and I am so happy to say thank you to all my professors who helped me so much to be successful at pursuing my dream. I hope someday to open my own childcare center for immigrant children and those in need.”

And her teachers couldn’t be more proud of her and her accomplishments as they watch her move on to continue her studies. “Both as a college student and as a student teacher, Kim understood and embraced the role of a learner,” says Christine Olsen, chair of the Childhood Development Program and one of Kim’s instructors. “She was curious and open to new ideas and would apply them to her work with the children as a student teacher. She came to class and to the lab school well prepared and was a committed member of the student teacher team. We are so excited for her success and wish her all the best!

Tania-HorneIntroducing Tania Horne, Salutatorian

Tania Horne, born in Hobart, Tasmania, came to the United States in 2012. With over 15 years experience serving people of disadvantaged and marginalized backgrounds in the field of criminal justice in Australia, she returned to school with a goal of bringing best management practices from her home country to make positive contributions in the United States.

Although going back to school after such a long time presented significant challenges, Tania worked hard to gain an understanding of U.S. history, political science, and justice. She graduated as the 2016 Salutatorian of Merritt College with Associate degrees in both Justice Administration and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

With a passion for restorative justice, Tania has accepted a position with the University of California, San Francisco for the next year to support the re-entry population in successfully securing gainful employment and transitioning back into the community. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, yoga, and sailing around the San Francisco Bay. She plans to resume her studies in fall of 2017 and hopes to ultimately earn a master’s degree in Criminal Justice.

Filed under: Announcements, Merritt College. Tagged: , , , , , , ,

College of Alameda’s Class of 2016 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

3 June 2016

Introducing Gabriel Thomas Tramble, ValedictorianTramble

Valedictorian Gabriel Thomas Tramble has been an exemplary student during his time at College of Alameda, earning a 4.0 average. This fall he will be attending UC Berkeley, where he received the Regents Scholarship. This is the most prestigious scholarship that UC Berkeley offers. He was also accepted to UCLA, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, Alabama State University, and Tuskegee University. Gabriel will be majoring in Media Studies with an emphasis in business. Gabriel has a website, stockbaby.org, which focuses on stocks and investment strategies. In his free time, Gabriel says he uses his website as a tool to teach others while researching and trading stocks.

Introducing Gabriela Martinez Garcia, SalutatorianGarcia

Through hard work and perseverance, Gabriela Martinez Garcia has become the 2016 Graduating Class Salutatorian. Gabriela is a first generation college student and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She spends a significant amount of time working with underserved youth in Oakland through non-profit organizations like the Reading Partners and AVID. She also volunteers her time at schools like Brookfield Elementary, John Muir Middle School and Roosevelt Elementary School. She is transferring to UC Davis as a major in Native American Studies with minor in education. She aspires to go into the education field to help her community.

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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.

Filed under: Announcements, Berkeley City College, Peralta News. Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Peralta Colleges

    Tuesday 16 October 2018
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