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Victor Valley Community College Counselor Selected for a USDA Fellowship

May 28, 2009 - [ download pdf of this press release ]

photo of VVCC Counselor, Lorena OchoaVictor Valley Community College bilingual counselor Lorena Ochoa was recently selected as the 2009 recipient of the USDA E. (Kika) De La Garza Education Fellowship Program in Washington D.C. through a national selection process that is highly competitive.

Upon hearing about the selection, Ms. Ochoa said, “I feel honored and privileged to be selected for this fellowship out of the hundreds of distinguished people who applied from all across this nation.”   “I will use this opportunity to better serve our diverse student population to gain access and find success while attending VVCC.  I know I will learn how to open doors to many new programs and support services that are available through the Federal government and that these resources will enhance the student experience and provide paraprofessional opportunities for the wider student population,” she added.

The Fellowship program offers Ms. Ochoa the opportunity to experience first-hand the education policymaking process and build linkages to research and funding prospects.  Ms. Ochoa will spend the summer meeting with USDA personnel, and other federal agencies and organizations such as the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The program presents people selected for the fellowship program with the opportunity to develop skills in student outreach and retention; career pathways; internships, scholarships, full time employment; graduate programs; grants and funding opportunities; partnership development; and governmental relations.

Ms. Ochoa received her Masters of Science in Counseling with an emphasis in Student Development in Higher Education from California State University, Long Beach in 2007. After graduation, she began working as a Title V Counselor with Victor Valley College. In this capacity she works with both general and ESL students where she provides counseling and additional services to encourage students' personal, educational, and career growth and development.  

Ms. Ochoa was nominated for this distinguished program by Dr. Victoria Hindes, Executive Dean of Student Services and the recipient of the 2006 USDA E. (Kika) De La Garza Education Fellowship Program.  

“I am positive that Lorena will gain valuable knowledge through this fellowship.  It will allow her to be more aware of all the federal resources available to the college and our students,” Dr. Hindes said.  “It will also open lines of communication with Congress and help her access the legislative process,” she concluded.