Cerritos College Alumnus Rises to State Capitol
Born Leader is Lt. Governor's Right Arm in Higher Education
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 22, 2008
Media Contact:Aya Abelon, Public Affairs; (562) 860-2451 ext.2287
NORWALK, Calif. - July 22, 2008 - Josh Franco was born in Uruapan, Michoacan, Mexico. Shortly after his birth, he came to the United States with his mother and his older brother to live with his father in California.
His interest in the leadership and public service budded early in his life. Franco served as student body president at almost all of the schools he attended, from Bellflower High School, Cerritos College and the University of California, Merced. At UC Merced, Franco established the student government and was elected first-ever student body president at the institution.
Franco recalls that each person he has met, spoke with and learned from has shaped his desire to pursue a career in public service. “Observing the passion of others, trying to understand the depth and breadth of their life experiences and absorbing as much knowledge as I can, I find that each person is greatly committed to creating a better life for themselves and those around them,” he says.
The awards and scholarships he received include the Cerritos College Facilities & Purchasing Leadership Scholarship, the Donald A. Strauss Foundation Public Service Scholarship, the Great Valley Center Institute for the Development of Emerging Area Leaders Class of 2006 and the Associated Students of Cerritos College Man of the Year, 2005.
“Cerritos College afforded me the opportunity to learn about myself, develop life skills and establish lasting friendships,” he says.
Josh received two associate’s degrees in economics and political science from Cerritos College and transferred to UC Merced in fall 2005. He achieved a bachelor’s degree in public policy from UC Merced in the spring of 2007.
His charismatic leadership and passion in public service landed him a job in the State Capitol in the Office of Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi. As an assistant to the Lt. Governor, he helped redesign and launch the Lt. Governor’s new website, coordinated the Students for California’s Future, a coalition of the three statewide student associations of the California Community Colleges, California State University and the University of California, and is now responsible for the Lt. Governor’s higher education policy.
Between his extremely busy schedule, Franco dedicates himself in community services as an Advisor to California “Students for Barack Obama” and as the participant for California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley. By attending meetings and regularly providing input on matters of general concern and of particular concerns to younger people, Franco hopes to elevate the matters of concern of the emerging generation.
Yet Franco manages to dig up some time to give back to his alma mater by mentoring current and incoming students. “The community challenged me to have a greater appreciation for the diversity of the campus and surrounding areas,” said Franco. “Cerritos College molded me into the person I am today.” He has mentored more than a dozen Cerritos College students and he also regularly meets with peers and student organizations at UC Merced to provide them with academic and career guidance and serve as a bridge to aid them in their journey after their time at the university.
Franco hopes to someday become a professor and teach at a public university. He has, and will continue to inspire many students whatever path he takes.
Cerritos College serves as a comprehensive community college for southeastern Los Angeles County. Communities within the college’s district include Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, La Mirada, Norwalk, and portions of Bell Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs and South Gate. Cerritos College offers degrees and certificates in more than 200 areas of study in nine divisions. Annually, more than 1,200 students successfully complete their course of studies, and enrollment currently averages more than 20,000 students. Visit Cerritos College online at www.cerritos.edu.