Congratulations to Guadalupe Navarro-Ochoa, Santa Rosa Junior College’s Employee of the Month for February 2016. Hired in 2013, Guadalupe has dedicated over 2 years of service to the College as SRJC Petaluma’s Gateway to College (GtC) Program Assistant.
Vanessa Luna Shannon, Director of the GtC Program, says that “Guadalupe has made tremendous impacts in the lives of students. She gives all of herself to the program and its students—her knowledge, experience, and unconditional support. I cannot think of another SRJC employee that exemplifies the quality of personal and professional care to serve students in our collective mission more than Guadalupe.”
Guadalupe serves as a member of the GtC School Site Council and Lumafest committees, club advisor for GtC Club, mentor for PUENTE, and on interview committees. She has volunteered for events such as the Leghorn Park Clean Up with the GtC Club, and has offered Spanish bilingual support for Sonoma County Library college workshops.
People might be surprised to know just how often Guadalupe buys students coffee, energy drinks, lunches, and dinners in order to reward and encourage her students’ accomplishments. Guadalupe explains, “All in all, it’s doing the simple things, just to keep students engaged and wanting to keep coming to school despite what is going on in their lives.”
Director Luna Shannon elaborates, “Her connections with students do not cease at her office door; she has demonstrated her care and commitment to student success by writing to students and sending them books when they are temporarily incarcerated. When she sees a student and/or program in need, she brainstorms ideas and then develops plans.”
Asked about the key to her success at work, Guadalupe responded, “I am a huge advocate of higher education, and am genuinely passionate about helping students perceive that…they too are capable of pursuing not just a high school diploma, but a higher degree if they set their mind to it, and surround themselves with the proper support and/or mentor.”
Born in Berkeley, Guadalupe grew up in Oakland and attended Oakland Technical High School, and received her BA in sociology and MA in education: curriculum, teaching, and learning from Sonoma State University (SSU).
Prior to working at SRJC, she served as an Admissions and Recruitment Specialist at SSU, Credentials Coordinator at Oakland Unified School District, and as a Compliance Specialist at the Office of Charter Schools-Oakland Unified School District.
Told of her nomination, Guadalupe responded, “The work that I do is derived from my father’s work ethic, combined with my passion for education. I am a witness to what hard work, dedication, and an education has done to change my life.”
Guadalupe celebrates the recognition with her immediate family including her three year old son, loving husband and three stepsons, as well as her parents, three sisters and one brother.