Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

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Student Trustee Naomi Vasquez aims to lift voices and empower students at PCCD

Student Trustee Naomi Vasquez, who was sworn onto the Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees on Dec. 12, 2023, sees her role as an opportunity to uplift her fellow students and advocate for the value of a community college education. (Photo: Eliot Faine/The Citizen)

Between studying full time, working part time, volunteering, and spending time with her family, Naomi Vasquez has many commitments to balance. Last year, Vasquez’s passion for uplifting student voices drew her to add one more, by serving on the Peralta Community College District (PCCD) Board of Trustees as a student trustee.

Naomi Vasquez and her parents at her highschool graduation. (Courtesy of Naomi Vasquez)

“I wanted to become a student trustee to be able to support other students and show how community college can help them,” Vasquez told The Citizen.

Vasquez was born and raised in Oakland to immigrant parents from El Salvador and Mexico. She shared that her parents have always inspired her to work hard and to help others.

Vasquez thinks it is important to uplift student voices and hear their needs, concerns, and ideas. To facilitate communication between students and the district, she holds office hours, and strives to stay in contact with as many students as possible between her classes.

At the same time, Vasquez is pursuing a degree in Business with a minor in Marketing. She has studied at PCCD for the past three years, with hopes of transferring to the University of California, Berkeley or San Jose State University.

She also spent a semester in the Laney College culinary program in the fall of 2022, to explore her love of cooking.

Last year, Vasquez was a mentor in the ACCESO Program at College of Alameda, a program that provides support for “Latinx” students. As a mentor, she taught other students time management skills, provided guidance on the transferring process, and informed them about scholarship and internship opportunities. She encouraged these students throughout their journeys at community college.

Five years ago, Vasquez’s passion for community engagement led her to start volunteering at the Jesus La Respuesta Church in Oakland, where she provides childcare for 5- and 6-year-olds. “I like to teach them about my faith,” Vasquez said.

She also babysits and works part time as an administrative assistant.

Despite her busy schedule, Vasquez still makes sure to spend time with her family and friends. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies and TV shows and working out at the gym.

When asked about PCCD’s enrollment challenges, Vazquez shared her belief that people need more information about what classes are available and how going to community college could benefit them.

“Sometimes [people] think they won’t get the same [education] at community college like they would at a private college,” Vasquez said.

Ultimately, Vasquez sees her role as a student trustee as an opportunity to empower other students, and help them see the value of a community college education.

About the Contributor
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor
Isabelly was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil and moved to the US in 2018 to pursue a life change. Back home, she went to communication school where she focused her studies in Radio, TV and Internet productions and worked as a media and marketing producer for 5 years, producing for the biggest Brazilian pop radio and traveling the world to cover concerts and events. Isabelly moved to California as an aupair and extended her stay in the US to explore and study, taking extension classes in Stanford, UCLA and UC Berkeley and now majoring in Journalism at Laney. You can find Isabelly petting all the dogs at the park and cuddling her guinea pig when she is at home. She also enjoys pop culture, Spider Man, playing instruments, karaoke, exploring the bay, a good true crime documentary and spends a lot of time reading and learning about earthquakes.
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