Mariana Vega, the current Student Trustee Elect, doesn’t want her ASCC title to stand in the way of students approaching her–because ultimately she’s still a regular student and wants to be regarded as such.
Vega has been involved in student government since she was a freshman at Bloomington high school; although when she first came to Citrus in fall 2011, she waited a year before returning to it.
“Having that year off was refreshing,” she said. “Sometimes you work on so many projects [as a representative to the students], but then you have to slow down and remember you’re a student first.”
Izabella Villegas, commissioner-at-large, was a big influence on her re-joining student government. She and Mariana met in English class and joined Latinos Unidos Student Association together, before running for ASCC.
“I brought the [ASCC] application to her and we filled it out together,” Villegas said. “She is my best friend in ASCC, but we know how to keep [it] business.”
Vega said she chose student trustee elect position, because it allows her connect to the student body better and be very centralized.
Her role as a student trustee elect is to shadow current student trustee, Crescencio Calderon as a representative at the Board of Trustee meetings. Vega will take over for Calderon in May of 2013.
Vega believes her quiet nature stems from her knack for observation; she likes to carefully consider her options before making a decision, as there are many things to take into account.
“She’s very good at what she does,” said Farihah Chowdhury, ASCC Senator. “Her input is very constructed. She’s always the voice of reason.”
Recently, Vega has been working with legislative liaison Tyler Hernandez in an attempt to get students involved in the legislative process, raising public awareness and fighting for community colleges and their missions.
“I’ve only been doing it [serving as a legislative liaison] for a little while,” said Hernandez. “Mariana has been very helpful, she has motivated me a few times, when I didn’t know what to do.”
Born and raised in Mexico until she was 5 Vega’s family then lived in Chicago for seven years before moving to California when she was 12.
Growing up in different places taught her to observe her environment to better adapt to various situations and people.
When she was 14, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Seeing her fight made me appreciate what I have and what I’m given,” Vega states.
In high school, Vega said she wanted to major in broadcast journalism as it looked interesting and exciting, but she concluded that it wasn’t her passion.
“I want to do public relations,” she said. “Because I can be more in control and in comparison to broadcast journalism you’re just kind of waiting for things to happen. I want to make things happen.”
Although she attended Bloomington High School near Fontana, she decided to attend Citrus College instead of attending community colleges near her, because she didn’t want to go to school and not get classes.
She liked Citrus College, because it’s a small college and easier to build relationships with students and professors.
She believes next year would be her final year here, but is still keeping her options open. She doesn’t want to make definite plans as there are so many things that can happen in the course of a year and Citrus College will always be there for her.