1 4 W W W. F A C C C . O R G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 8 | F A C C C T S Chancellor's Corner Meeting Students WhereThey Are by Daisy Gonzales, CCCCO Deputy Chancellor Dr. Gonzales at the University of California, Santa Barbara Dr. Gonzales with Ms. Baker and her children, June 2016 By third grade my mother was no longer able to help me with my homework. She had received a second grade education at best, and my father never attended school and could barely write his name. My educational experience was framed by my status as an English learner and foster youth. I first entered foster care at the age of two and then multiple times throughout my childhood until I was emancipated at age 17. Less than three percent of foster youth attend a four-year college or university. As a foster youth, my biggest dream was graduating from high school. Today, I dream about empowering the next generation of students to accomplish their full potential. At the Chancel- lor’s Office, I get to do just that. By implementing the Vision for Success, we will empower millions of Californian’s with the opportunity to access and, most importantly, earn high- er education degrees and credentials. And in this effort, our students’ potential must be our North Star. We must meet students where they are and provide them the resources to succeed. I became a third grade teacher after college because my K-12 teachers inspired me to achieve more. My high school graduating class was so large that graduation was held at the Hollywood Bowl. My chemistry teacher, Ms. Barker, met me and my class- mates where we were. In a large inner-city school, the majority of us were low-income, first-generation, and former English learners. Ms. Barker cre- ated a chemistry club that met every lunch period. We loved that club and Ms. Barker’s belief and commitment. Her classroom was the first place where I learned about college. And that was the catch—she insisted that we apply to college during our lunch period. Ms. Barker believed in me. When I reached college, I met an equally important army of faculty who met me where I was and challenged me to do more. In high school, I took Advanced Placement English all four years. Upon arriving, I failed the English placement exam. I was allowed to take the transfer-level English course, provided with tutoring and a requirement for a concurrent composition course. Numerous faculty spent extensive office hours reviewing my work and challenging me. As a freshman, I wanted to drop an upper division course that I had enrolled in because I liked its name, "The World’s Five Biggest Policy Problems.” I wanted to drop the course because I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t believe in myself. I needed the professor’s approval, and to my surprise Dr. Roe refused to sign the form. He told me, “Ms. Gonzales, how will you know what you are capable of if you won’t even