Former Marine awarded co-Woman of the Year

Jocelyn-Vizcarra-tag1A former U.S. Marine, Jocelyn Vizcarra was awarded the prestigious Woman of the Year award at the Citrus College Annual Achievement Ceremony on May 30 in the Campus Center.


The Man and Woman of the Year awards are granted to graduating students based on their contributions to Citrus community, service outside the community and grade point averages.


A committee from Citrus constituent groups selects the recipients who are given a cash award of $250.


Vizcarra has made an incredible contribution to Citrus College through her experience in the Veterans Center and as treasurer of the Veterans Network.


Her brother originally encouraged her to attend Citrus. When she enrolled, a councilor suggested she visit the Veterans Center.


The feeling of being part of a larger community at Citrus College is what originally drew her in. She could use the computers and printers and she enjoyed communicating with her fellow classmates who faced some of the same unique challenges after being a part of the military.


Vizcarra had a passion for helping others, and Fernando Salazar Jr., the president of the Veteran’s Network, encouraged her to hold the position of treasurer in the club. Together they attend and coordinate events, and work as mentors for the other veterans.


“If it wasn’t for Fernando I wouldn’t have been as involved in the center or the club. He continues to push me towards my goals. He is what I live up to. He goes above and beyond for his veterans.”


As the treasurer for the Veterans Center she works incredibly hard to coordinate events that encourage students to communicate and meet other veterans.


Being productive and helping others is very beneficial for individuals who suffer from PTSD or were wounded during their service.


Vizcarra coordinated the LAPD test event by inviting students, handing out flyers and providing general information. She was involved in the basketball fundraiser, paintball tournament and Toys for Tots softball tournament. She helped initiate the event by inviting students from local schools that have established Veterans Centers. The event raised over 500 toys.


She organizes hikes up Garcia Trail, where participants take a picture with the American flag at the top and hang the photo up in the Vet Center.


She helps by making fresh, healthy homemade meals for the hike.


She also coordinates the Thursday movie nights at the Vet Center as well as clothes drives for local shelters.


She participates in outreach with the local community, traveling to businesses and asking if they can donate small things for purchasing shirts and providing general items for veterans.


Whenever a new student comes in to the Vets Center, she assigns them to a small group. She lets her mentees know about the resources available to veterans and encourages them to see counselors.


“As veterans, we need to help one another. Being in the military is a very different experience. It helps a lot to know that you have someone you can turn to who understands what you have been through.”


Vizcarra has helped to build upon the legacy of the Veterans Center. She is extremely deserving of the Woman of the Year award.


She will be transferring to Cal State Fullerton this fall but she was recently encouraged to apply to USC. Her main goal is to continue working with veterans and she eventually wants to become a social worker with a master’s in sociology.


“My experiences at Citrus have helped me to determine my long-term goals.  Everything that I have been a part of with the Veterans Center has been training for what I want to do for the rest of my life, which is to help people.”


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