Tag Archives: Peralta Community College

Abel Guillen: Reflections from Berkeley City College

18 Mar

This guest post was written by Abel Guillen who was first elected to serve on the Peralta Community College Board in 2006 and is immediate past president of the board. Guillén, who represents Oakland’s Temescal, West Oakland, Chinatown, Downtown and Adam’s Point neighborhoods, is vice president of Caldwell Flores Winters Inc., where he has helped raise more than $2 billion in bond funding for public schools and colleges throughout California over the past 10 years. The first in his family to graduate from college, he has a Masters of Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and a B.A. in Sociology, also from Cal.

At this evening’s Board of Trustees meeting, I heard powerful testimony from our students.

A student who grew up in East Oakland passionately described his childhood.  He told us he would wander the streets because he would fear going home.  He dropped out of school and had run-ins with the law and got caught up in some drug cases.  He tried Merritt College – “just to give a shot” – after his last arrest.  As a result of the Disabled Students Program & Services, he was tested and qualified for services.  He is now achieving in his studies, and last semester achieved 4.0 GPA.  He also proudly told us that he serves as president of Merritt College’s honor society. Continue reading