On May 12th, San Jose City College - Milpitas Extension and Silicon Valley Latino were honored to host another intimate and insightful Fireside Chat, this time it was conducted in an Iconoclast style. The featured guests were Dr. David Lopez and City of Milpitas Councilmember, Bob Nuñez. Both shared various aspects of their life's journeys in a very open and even vulnerable manner that was truly inspiring for those in attendance. Jorge Escobar Vice President of San Jose City College welcomed the audience. He also spoke very passionately about both featured guests as he transitioned to introducing the theme of the event and the tone was set. From that point on, the Iconoclast style, Fireside Chat was underway and the dual interview began as casual conversation centered on their journeys. Both shared stories about their humble beginnings, early childhood memories that shaped their view of the world, trials and tribulations, key moments and lessons learned. Both men also shared in a very vulnerable manner how specific interactions with key people propelled them on the paths they took without necessarily knowing what lied ahead of them. Throughout the conversation, a clear theme related to the value of mentors and finding key people that believe in you prevailed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1x9Ndw2P3s Dr. Lopez specifically cited an instance when he wanted to move to San Francisco to live with his older sister to attend a community college as he was about to graduate from high school but how his mother interfered and strategically arranged a meeting with a family friend and attorney who was a key influence in having him be admitted to the University of New Mexico. That turned out to be a pivotal moment in his life that led him on a path toward earning his doctorate in Education and ultimately leading a career in higher education. Throughout his time in higher education, he has been passionate about helping, guiding and mentoring Latino students and paying it forward. Council member Nuñez also shared about how he had a significant meeting early on in his career where he was asked: "what do you do here?" That somewhat innocent question turned a pivotal moment where he learned about the power of his position, his influence and how it would impact people's lives in a positive or negative manner. He took that lesson to heart and from that point on he was on a mission to empower the students he was responsible for as a key administrator to various school districts. He has now taken that approach to city government and looking out for his constituents. By the end of the interview, it was very clear that both men have had and continue to have a very positive influence in our community and at an age where most people spend their time traveling, playing golf or engaged in other retiree activities, both of these gentlemen show no signs of slowing down. We thank you both for all that you have done for our communities and continue to do. Thank you for believing in, us, our potential and the possibilities of an educated and empowered community. At the conclusion of the program, San Jose City College and Silicon Valley Latino had the pleasure of presenting them both with the Creo En Ti Champion Award. #CreoEnTi #CulturaAmbassador
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