Last evening, July 11th, a group of us attended the Latina Leaders Awards banquet to celebrate the recognition of one of our very own–Lisa Kent. It was a beautiful event recognizing the talent of Latinas in Kern County. We were so proud of Lisa Kent who believes in the transformational power of higher education and who believes in Bakersfield College. She puts herself out there to do whatever it takes to help others, particularly the young women in our community. Lisa Kent, we are proud of you!
We had two of our students, two Latinas, from the Making it Happen Program attend the event. Mariaha Lopez, from Shafter High, and Alondra Lule from Arvin High. Here they are with Odella Johnson, myself, Lisa Kent, and Kimberly Bligh
The Latina Leaders of Kern County is a great organization whose President this year is Norma Rojas-Mora, who is also on the Bakersfield College Foundation Board of Directors. You can find more information at http://kernlatinas.com/. Another recipient is Camila Chavez, Executive Director for the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF) whom I met prior to my presidency when she was spearheading the movement locally to pass Prop 30 during the November 2012 election, which helped education in California as a whole and Bakersfield College in particular.
Talking about Latina leaders, I am reminded of Jo Ann Acosta, another amazing Latina, and the person behind the detailed planning and execution of BC’s Chicano/Latino Commencement Celebration.
The 21st Annual Bakersfield College Chicano/Latino Commencement Celebration, held on May 6th, was a festive evening filled with a performance by the Aztec Dancers, a live mariachi band and heartfelt remarks from our graduates. Take a moment to watch the 6:02-minute condensed version of the evening put together in a video by Manny de los Santos.
The program began with a processional of BC’s committed faculty and staff, followed by our students draped in beautiful Hispanic serape stoles with hues of green, blue, red, orange, yellow and white. Both MCs for the event, Lily Martinez (Professor, Foreign Language) and Maritza Salgueiro-Carlisle (Professor, Foreign Language) addressed the audience with translations in English and Spanish. The audience then received words of inspiration from the speaker of the evening Connie Perez (Partner, Brown Armstrong). The Student Speaker was Jose ”Jimmy” Moran (Vice President, Student Government Association), followed by the Presentacion de Certificados! Each of the graduates expressed their heartfelt appreciation for all who touched their lives, there was barely a dry eye in sight!
Thank you Jo Ann Acosta, Corny Rodriguez, the Committee and all parties that helped make the Chicano Commencement a cultural celebration to remember! and thank you Karla Young for capturing content for me for this blog.
More photos can be found at:
¡Somos El Colegio De Bakersfield!
¡Sí Se Puede!
Tagged: Alondra Lule, chicano, Commencement, Connie Perez, Corny Rodqiguez, graduation, Jo Ann Acosta, Kimberly Bligh, latino, Lily Martinez, Lisa Kent, Mariaha Lopez, Maritza Salgueiro-Carlisle, Norma Rojas-Mora, Odella Johnson, Sonya Christian