By Cynthia Laguna
Los Angeles Community College District Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D., was honored at East Los Angeles College last Thursday.
The awards ceremony marked the second annual awards reception that the Executive Latino Leadership Association (ELLA) has held in order to officially recognize the roles of important Latino leaders as well as the diversity of their members.
ELAC President Marvin Martinez shared his excitement for the new honorees by stating, “We are in great hands for the future of this community,” as they were introduced.
The newly appointed Rodriguez thanked the LACCD Board of Trustees for their support with the encouraging phrase,“¡Echale ganas!,” or “Do your best!”
He said not everyone has all the help and financial backup and that by taking risks anything can be possible. He also shared that something new can be created through collaboration.
Rodriguez served as superintendent/president at MiraCosta Community College District for five years and president at Cosumnes River College for six years before his appointment to the LACCD.
He has dedicated his time and career to diversity, equity and to outreach unrepresented communities.
Having lived in a family of factory workers on public assistance, Rodriguez closed his speech and said that there is “no shame in struggle and that all of us (at) one point of our lives struggle, but from that struggle comes emergence.”
Hilda Solis thanked the voters to for having her represent them on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Solis is the first Latina Secretary of Labor in the United States Cabinet.
“I am proud to be a part of ELLA. The power is here,” Solis said.
She explained the importance of higher education and the need to employ the young to take over positions of retirees, she wants to allow job creation and to be able to accomplish this with the education system.
Solis has represented areas of San Gabriel Valley, City of Los Angeles and East Los Angeles for over 20 years.
She has also served as Congresswoman, State Assembly member, State Senator and as a Rio Hondo Community College Board of Trustees Member.
ELLA’s mission is to advocate for equality services for the Latino community.
The association not only promotes opportunities for Latinos to take on positions of leadership, but also establishes a pipeline for future Latino leaders through mentorship and support for students.
The awards ceremony celebrated the importance in unity of the community to promote and advocate higher education. This will establish a pipeline for the advancement of Latino leaders, and help out families for a better future.