Readers React: Community colleges deserve more credit for transforming lives

Graduating students at their commencement ceremony at the University of Maryland in 2013.
(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

To the editor: What an inspiring piece by Salvador Rojas about his journey from foster care, to community college, to Cal State L.A. and finally to a doctoral program in engineering and robotics. His transformative experience in the community college system needs to be heard by legislators and parents.

I graduated from a vocational-technical high school based on advice from a counselor who realized that my parents could not afford to pay for college, as we were recently arrived refugees from Nazi Germany. I served in the Navy as an electrician, married and had four children, who are all community college and California State University graduates.

I served as as an instructor at Long Beach City College teaching my trade. Now retired, I am rewarded when former students who have succeeded in their work recognize me.

Community colleges need to be recognized more for what they contribute to society.


Eric David, Long Beach


To the editor: Thank you, Mr. Rojas, for sharing your experience.

I have a soon-to-be 11th grader studying for final exams. I have been telling him for a few years now that there is no right way to get into college, and perhaps the unorthodox way of starting at a community college can ultimately be far more beneficial. You just have to put your head down, work hard, and believe that all the hours you put in will eventually pay off.


I wish Rojas all the best in his future endeavors.

Robert Leveen, Pasadena

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