April 04, 2022
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A student government president at Foothill College who has served as an important ambassador for the college's outreach and dual enrollment programs. A Pasadena City College student leader who actively promotes higher education among non-traditional communities. A Victor Valley College student trustee whose advocacy for student needs has increased access to tutoring and transportation. These three student leaders have advanced the California Community Colleges Vision for Success in their communities..
Congratulations to Pamela Glendinning, Fatai Heimuli and Jasmine Lopez, who have earned the California Community Colleges Board of Governors 2022 Student Leadership Award. This is the second year the annual award has been given.
“The Board of Governors established the Student Leadership Award in 2020 to celebrate visionaries enrolled in the California Community Colleges who are demonstrating the highest level of commitment to student leadership and helping to realize the goals and objectives laid out in the Vision for Success,” said Board of Governors President Pamela Haynes. “We are honored to celebrate Pamela Glendinning, Fatai Heimuli and Jasmine Lopez for their dedication and achievements.”
Recipients were recognized at the April 1-3 Student Senate for California Community Colleges Spring General Assembly, where they received a $1,250 check and a commemorative certificate. Student Gerardo Chavez was recognized with an honorable mention.
Meet the awardees:
Pamela Glendinning is the President of the Victor Valley College Associated Student Body and serves as a Student Trustee on the Board of Trustees. She is working towards a degree in Respiratory Therapy. Glendinning advocates for student-centered needs, especially for those resonate with non-traditional students. Her efforts resulted in increased tutoring for students in Chemistry, Communication Studies and Spanish. Her advocacy with the Victor Valley Transit Authority led to an increased number of hours of service to address the "unmet" needs for students in evening 106 classes. Glendinning’s advocacy is ongoing and she is currently working on committees to achieve goals of campus multi-cultural center and Basic Needs Center, which is estimated to be completed by the end of 2022. Her focus on student support shows a strong commitment to the Vision for Success. In addition, community commitment is at Glendinning’s core. This past year she coordinated handwriting and delivering 200 Christmas cards to the Barstow Veterans Home and she has coordinated several blood drives.
Advocacy for student equity drives Fatai Heimuli’s goals and accomplishments. She is serving as President of the Associated Students of Foothill College and is the student representative on a working group to reimagine participatory governance at Foothill College. Heimuli has been a leader in support of the campus LGBTQ community, working closely with the administration to prioritize the construction of more gender-neutral restrooms. She advocates for increased mental health resources for students navigating the virtual learning experience and has spearheaded the support for the hiring of a racial trauma-informed counselor. Heimuli was selected for the Foothill College Teacher's Corps to assist in teaching English at a secondary school in Antigua, Guatemala, serving marginalized youth. As a woman of Pacific Islander descent, she is conscious of her role as leader and example to younger students. Heimuli has been an important ambassador for the college's outreach and dual enrollment programs. She embodies the Vision for Success in many ways, and one is her support of the college’s efforts to reach more communities of color and bring more high school students into their career and college pathways.
Jasmin Emilia Lopez has a passion for social justice equity and is committed to breaking down stigmatization and creating a space for those who have experienced trauma through the carceral system, directly, or through loved ones. She services as the Student Equity Chair on the Pasadena City College Associated Student Body and as President of Formerly Incarcerated Radical Scholars Team (FIRST). In addition, Lopez is the Lead Community Engagement Leader for Community Overcoming Recidivism through Education (CORE). She actively promotes higher education among non-traditional communities and is a living pipeline to college spaces for those who would not know about education otherwise. Lopez advocates on campus for opportunities that address mental health awareness through low or no cost resources, including free textbooks, job opportunities, internships and emergency aid available, and she focuses on basic needs by volunteering at the college food pantry. Her actions have moved the Vision for Success goals forward for many students.
Gerardo Chavez served as President of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges this academic year, and he served as the Secretary for Associated Students of Riverside City College (ASRCC) and Region IX Delegate during the 2019-20 academic year. He advocates on campus for equitable financial aid, basic needs, and student services, and he has developed and proposed legislation designed to promote student success. Additionally. Chavez has shown commitment toward civic engagement outside of this role in student leadership. He served as an intern for the Office of the Governor, Gavin Newsom in the External Affairs Division to help coordinate legislative events for the Southern California region, demonstrating his willingness to serve in areas that have direct impact on his community and help to create systemic change to improve the lives of fellow Californians.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 1.8 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.