Central Oregon Community College’s new Latino Prep Program Coordinator Willian Cervantes has made a career of inspiring students. In his new role at COCC, Cervantes will serve as an advocate to current and prospective Latino students.
“I will be outreaching the Central Oregon region,” said Cervantes, “and giving [Latinos] the incredible option of higher education.”
With the growing population of Latino students in public schools, Latino high school students need a “passionate advocate,” according to Cervantes, and he intends to be that advocate.
“goal is to extend the same hope for higher education to others that he received from his father growing up. Cervantes and his family moved from Peru to Roseburg, Oregon when he was 10, and his father was adamant about his education. Though Cervantes didn’t like high school and was considering entering armed forces, his ex-military father would not hear of it.
College was my only option,” s
Cervantes was awarded
scholarship to Oregon State University, where he earned his Bachelors of Science in 1996 and later obtained his Masters in 2006. Two brothers followed in his footsteps.
Cervantes went on to become a vocational counselor at Chemeketa Community College, where he helped many students “renew their hope for a new career.” He has also volunteered as a community coordinator, educating families on how to boost children’s outlook on college. He’s done similar work at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility.
Cervantes became acquainted with COCC when he presented ritual dance in the Aztec Dance discipline at the college’s annual Salmon Festival. He told the coordinator he was looking for “stimulating and impa
“Our world was constructed by dreamers and before they materialized [their dreams] they found people who gave them that little, or big, push. I am, or strive to be, one of those people,” said Cervantes.cting employment.” Cervantes was hired for his new position during the summer of 2012. He is looking forward to helping students aspire to do great things.
Cervantes can be reached at the Office of Multicultural activities, Latino Student Program at 541-318-3726.
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