GLENDORA, Calif. – On June 14, Citrus College will award 2,119 associate degrees to students including its Woman of the Year and Man of the Year for 2014, Alejandra Morales and Tyler Hernandez. Both graduates have achieved and overcome personal challenges and significant triumphs over the course of the academic careers, and they are among the nearly 800 students who will graduate with honors.

“I am so proud of all of our graduating students for their constant dedication to their studies and reaching this momentous occasion in their lives,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Geraldine Perri, Ph.D. “My hope is that Alejandra’s and Tyler’s stories inspire their fellow graduates to be courageous leaders, continue to set their own goals and strive to achieve them. Congratulations to the Class of 2014!”

Morales, a Baldwin Park High School graduate, is a member of several honor societies and honor programs, including Phi Theta Kappa (PTK). As a member of PTK, Morales was one of the originators of the Citrus College Completion Corps, which helped shape the College of Completion initiative and establish the Citrus College Institute for Completion, expected to launch this fall.

As an undocumented student, however, Morales had little hope that she would be able to continue her education. Thanks to legislation that allowed her to stay in the country, Morales will now attend UCLA to study English. She plans to get master’s and doctorate degrees in higher education administration and return to Citrus College to teach.

“I entered Citrus College with the idea that I would never reach my educational goals because I am an undocumented student and would never be able to go any further than a community college degree,” Morales said. “I have proven this idea to be wrong, and I will always remember Citrus College as the place that changed the course of my life forever.”

Hernandez, an Azusa resident and outgoing Associated Students of Citrus College (ASCC) president, has been actively involved in student government since he began his academic career at the college.

Described as a deep thinker whose knowledge is impressive and balanced with wisdom, Hernandez plans to attend either Cal State Long Beach or UCLA. He wants to study political science with an emphasis in comparative politics in the Eastern Asian region.

“At the end of my government career, I hope to teach comparative politics at a college or university, hopefully at my alma mater, Citrus College,” said Hernandez, who will serve as Student Commencement Speaker during the ceremony.

The celebration, taking place at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 14 at Citrus College’s stadium, marks a tremendous milestone for the new graduates, said Board of Trustees President Dr. Patricia Rasmussen.

“All of our students have demonstrated determination, creativity, leadership, strength and resolve to complete their education here at Citrus College and hopefully beyond, as well,” Rasmussen said. “Commencement is a window to so much opportunity, and I am proud of the Class of 2014 for getting to this point. Congratulations to all.”

CITRUSLEADERS: Tyler Hernandez, left, and Alejandra Morales were recently honored as Citrus College’s 2014 Man of the Year and Woman of the Year, the college’s most prestigious honor awarded to students.