April 05, 2023
Contact: Melissa Villarin
Office: 916-327-5365
Office E-mail: MVillarin@CCCCO.edu

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A trio of student government presidents who have shown extraordinary leadership at both their college and in their community have been honored with the California Community College’s annual Student Leadership Award.

Amy Huang of De Anza College, Seinna Shaba of Cuyamaca College and Aaron Villarreal of West Hills College Lemoore were recognized March 31 at the Student Senate for California Community Colleges 27th General Assembly in Long Beach. Each received a $1,250 check and a commemorative certificate.

“Amy Huang, Seinna Shaba and Aaron Villarreal embody the best of the California Community Colleges, and the Board of Governors is honored to recognize them with this year’s Student Leadership Award,” said Board of Governors President Amy M. Costa. “These leaders have been critical in advocating for the Vision for Success and are also known for their dedication to the greater good.”

Established in 2020, the Student Leadership Award recognizes a commitment to achieving the goals set forth in the Vision for Success, outstanding leadership in college and service in the broader community.

“Congratulations to Amy, Seinna and Aaron! They have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to student leadership and the Vision for Success,” said Interim Chancellor Daisy Gonzales, PhD. “Their dedication and achievements are models to be extremely proud of and we are excited to see how far they will continue to grow.”

Twenty nominations were submitted for the 2023 awards. Meet the three awardees:

Amy HuangAmy Huang, who serves as president of De Anza Student Government, implemented a communication system for students and employees, launched a bike-share program and was the catalyst in establishing a career closet for students in need of business dress for interviews. She was critical in securing funding to compensate student senators, is an advocate for increased diversity in student government, is pushing for student housing on campus and is a motivating voice in getting students involved in numerous college issues. Her efforts also focus on advocating for the inclusion of underrepresented populations, including the LGBT+ community and former foster youth, in community and campus affairs.

Sienna ShabaSeinna Shaba serves as president of Associated Student Government at Cuyamaca College and is involved in numerous committees and groups, including the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science/STEM, the Cuyamaca College Council, the Resources and Operations Council, the Institutional Effectiveness Council, the District Executive Committee and the District Strategic Planning and Budget Council. She is a tireless advocate for students having a voice, strategic enrollment, improving student services and class scheduling and boosting underrepresented student outcomes. Among her community work is serving as a childcare volunteer and providing gifts to needy families for the holidays.

Aaron Villarreal Aaron Villarreal is president of the Associated Student Government’s Executive Board at West Hills College Lemoore who also serves as a student trustee on the West Hills Community College District’s Board of Trustees and as a student representative in developing his college’s Educational Master Plan and Strategic Plan. He is the Regional Affairs Director for the Student Senate for California Community Colleges and chaired a February 2022 Student Athletes Forum and the 4th and 5th Annual Spring Regional summits. Villarreal volunteers with a community food pantry and coordinated its expansion. He is also involved in reaching out to secondary school students who would become the first in their family to attend college.

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; and degree and certificate pathways. 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, Instagram and Twitter.