2023 Veterans Day – CA CC finding ways to serve those who serve our country

This Veterans Day, I want to take a moment to thank all of our nation’s veterans. To our active-duty military, military veterans, military reservists and dependents – thank you for safeguarding our country and the freedoms we enjoy.

Community colleges have a key role in supporting student veterans as they transition to civilian life. With an estimated 1.8 million military veterans living in California, many are looking to our community colleges for debt-free education and skills training. Each year, approximately 55,000 veterans, active-duty service members and their dependents enroll at a California community college, and can access the many services we provide, including veterans resource centers, priority registration, tutoring, food pantries, credit for prior learning and more.

For this Veterans Day, the American Legion with USAA offers suggestions for how we can “Go Beyond Thanks.” Let’s take a moment to quietly reflect on the contributions and sacrifices of veterans, and to consider how we can all find ways to serve those who serve our country.

Today, I would like to introduce you to Dr. Blas Villalobos, a member of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.

Dr. Villalobos served in the United States Marine Corps from 1999- 2003. During this time, he was deployed to Iraq where he served as a Squad Leader. He earned several awards during combat operations including: The Combat Action Ribbon; Presidential Unit Citation; Meritorious Unit Commendation; Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze campaign stars; and the Humanitarian Service Medal.

After his military service, Villalobos attended Long Beach City College. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from Long Beach State, and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Southern California.

Read more at https://lbcc.edu/press-release/lbcc-alum-dr-blas-villalobos-selected-community-college-league-distinguished-alumni?utm_content=271375363&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&hss_channel=tw-1114279671770693632

Spent several hours this morning … yes, I wake up around 4:00 a.m. … reading all my previous Veterans Day blog posts … here is one from 2015. https://sonyachristianblog.com/2015/11/11/veterans-day-vet-fest-and-remembering-americas-best/. With a message from Prof. Paul Beckworth.

“We don’t fight to hold ground.  We fight to win.”  This was said by a Navy SEAL as he reflected on his numerous combat engagements in the current conflicts overseas.  As I look back on another Veterans Day at BC, I think about what we have come from.  I look back with pride at 102 years of Bakersfield College history and how BC alumni have fought in every conflict since World War I. 

I laugh when I read about World War II veterans coming to BC in the late 1940s when it still on the BHS campus, and the high school administrators’ anxiety about the smoking, and bad language the student-veterans used on campus.

I am proud that those vets were called “DARS,” by administrators, which stood for Damned Average Raisers, because they did so well in class that they skewered all the grading curves.  The tide of student-veteran involvement has ebbed and flowed over the decades.  It was very active in the years after the Vietnam War, with the Veterans Club“running the campus,” as the late Vernon Valenzuela remembered.  I saw it resurrect in 2010 thanks to the OIF/OEF veterans agitating for a veteran space.  Not only has the club resurrected, it has thrived.  Now, BC has a new Veterans Education Advisor, a new veterans’ student development class, plans for a larger space for the veterans lounge, and a college president who values what you bring to the table.

After your years of service it is now your time, as Bakersfield College student-veterans, to move forward.  You have a great responsibility.   You have a great responsibility to you; A responsibility to use your military experience to better yourself, your family and your community.  You have a responsibility to get educated, and pursue your goals in a timely, productive manner.  It is indeed frustrating at times.  It isn’t easy.  If it was easy, everyone would do it.  But, you aren’t everyone.  You are the real 1%.  Only 1% ever served in the military.  If you are part of that elite percentage, then college is simply another challenge to overcome before the next challenge.  The fact that you are at Bakersfield College says this about you: You don’t fight to hold ground.  You fight to win.

From the bottom of my heart, I am proud of all of you winners.

Thank you for your service.  Happy Veterans Day.  Job Well Done!


I started my week at the California State Assembly for the Dual Enrollment Oversight Hearing.

On Tuesday, I was at El Camino College for the Vision 2030: Pathways to Equity and Economic Mobility in Healthcare summit. The event explored how innovations in healthcare will transform the earning power of our students.

I ended my week visiting the Home of the Renegades – Memorial Stadium for the last Bakersfield College football game. It was so much fun…. here are a few photos

Good morning California.
It is November 11, 2023. Veterans Day.
A good day to be a Community College Champion

From California Community Colleges.
Our Time is Now!

Coastline College Veterans Service Coordinator
Earns Veteran of Distinction Award

To commemorate Veterans Day this year, Representative Michelle Steel is awarding Coastline College’s Veteran Services Coordinator Tom Boscamp the Veteran of Distinction Award from her Congressional District. Boscamp, a U.S. Army veteran, is being recognized for his tireless service in aiding active duty and veterans in starting and completing their education at Coastline. 

» Read more! 

College of Alameda Hosts AUSD Educational Summit

On Saturday, October 14, 2023, College of Alameda opened its doors to a remarkable event, “My Sister’s Dynasty and My Brother’s Legacy,” a groundbreaking educational summit designed to empower Black and Multi-Ethnic students. This special event, hosted in collaboration with the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) Office of Equity, brought together a diverse group of speakers, presenters, and attendees.

» Read more!

Butte College Dual Enrollment Student
Takes Top Honors at National FFA Convention

Joe Schohr, a sophomore at Gridley High School who is concurrently pursuing his education at Butte College, took top honors at the National FFA Creed Speaking Leadership Development Event. The National FFA Creed Speaking Leadership Development Event (LDE) is a highly competitive contest that recognizes exceptional FFA members for their ability to recite and interpret the National FFA Creed and respond to challenging questions.

» Read more!

Folsom Lake College Celebrates Enrollment Milestone

Folsom Lake College, a member of the Los Rios Community College District and a leading institution of higher education in the Greater Sacramento region, is thrilled to announce a momentous achievement in its history. The college has reached a significant milestone with its enrollment surpassing 10,000 students.

» Read more!

In Case You Missed It

StateScoop: How 1 Billion Data Points Could Improve
Career Outcomes for California Students

In late October, California’s Cradle-to-Career office — which manages a statewide education and workforce data project — collected its first data installment with more than 1 billion data points across 200 different categories, including K-12, college admissions, post-college employment opportunities. Officials told StateScoop it’s a vital step towards building the first longitudinal data system in the state.

» Read more!

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

From San Joaquin Delta College:

Smiles, hugs, and tears this week at Delta as we dedicated our newly renamed forums in honor of Filipino American historian Dr. Dawn Mabalon, longtime counselor and mentor Tony Fitch, and the legacy of Campesino farmworkers.


And a Veterans Day Message from San Diego College of Continuing Education President Tina King and Retired US Navy Commander Edgar Lucas:

And From the Home of the Renegades

BC at the 37th HACU Conference

Bakersfield College had a presence with faculty, staff, and administrators at the recent 37th annual Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Conference in Chicago, Illinois. This event serves as a crucial platform for collaboration, fostering discussions on policy matters, emerging trends, and impactful opportunities that significantly influence Hispanic community education.

» Read more!

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Remember – our greatest challenges enable us to do our greatest work.

That’s all for today.

See you next Saturday!

With much hope and joy, 

Your Chancellor,



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One thought on “2023 Veterans Day – CA CC finding ways to serve those who serve our country

  1. Dina Pielaet November 15, 2023 at 1:32 pm Reply

    Thank you for this awesome blog!

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