The Modesto Junior College Office of Campus Life and Student Learning presents the Positive People Speaker Series for spring 2018, featuring presentations by local community members who have overcome challenges and obstacles to achieve their goals.
The campus and community are invited to come hear these stories of inspiration and motivation. The free presentations are held on Thursdays at 6 p.m. in the Mary Stuart Rogers Student Learning Center on West Campus, 2201 Blue Gum Avenue, Modesto.
The 2018 series offers the following five encouraging personal stories:
January 25 – Demitrius Snaer, MJC professor and Men’s Cross Country coach, will share his journey from very humble beginnings to becoming a community college state and national champion at San Joaquin Delta College, and an All-American sprinter and Hall of Famer at Fresno State University. Today, Snaer is a college professor and coach dedicated to motivating his students to be successful both in the classroom and on the track.
February 8 – Jorge Perez, Modesto High School counselor, was born in Salinas, California to migrant farmworker parents who left Mexico in the early 1970s in search of a better life. His parents taught him the values of hard work, respect, and the importance of education, despite living in a poor, gang-prone, and disadvantaged community. Perez will share his story, from experience turning to gangs and other dangerous behaviors, to his pursuit of high education, and becoming a role model to many local youth.
March 8 – Joanna Murillo-Beaver, Modesto City Schools medical procedure specialist and licensed vocational nurse, was the all-American girl living the all-American dream growing up. She was a happy and popular cheerleader, she had many friends, and was an outstanding student. Everything in life was on track and proceeding how she had planned. Her life then took a traumatic turn after a night of celebrating left her in the hospital and landed her in jail. Murillo-Beaver will share her inspiring real-life story of how she overcame these obstacles to achieve her dreams.
March 22 – Yamilet Valladolid, community health clinic manager, has lived in the Central Valley all her life. Her parents immigrated from the State of Jalisco in Mexico to the U.S. when they were newlyweds to be able to have a family and offer opportunities to their children. Valladolid always knew she wanted to go to college, but did not know anyone in her circle who had graduated beyond high school. Vallodolid will recount her journey as she faced challenges in life while pursuing her education and becoming a community leader.
April 12 – Emmanuel Escamilla, Code X program founder, grew up on the south side of Modesto and studied at Modesto Junior College. He went on to graduate from University of California, Berkeley and is currently a graduate student at Harvard University. Since the founding of CodeX, he has been recognized as a McNair Scholar, Harvard Innovation Lab Fellow, Forbes Under 30 Scholar, and has won the Westly Prize for Young Innovators in California.
For more information about the Positive People Speaker Series contact the Office of Campus Life and Student Learning at (209) 575-6700.