Former WVC Student and Graduate of UC Santa Barbara Writes Letter of Support

The WVC Global Citizenship Committee is happy to report that the Office of the WVC President and his Cabinet have nominated the WVC Global Citizenship Center for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office’s Student Success Award. Among the many supporting documents included in the application is a letter written by Francis Sesay. Francis is a graduate of West Valley College and a transfer student to University of California Santa Barbara, where he successfully completed all requirements for an undergraduate degree in Psychology. His letter of support is below. Thank you Francis!

To:                  California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office

From:              Francis Sesay

Former student at WVC and participant in activities organized by

the WVC Global Citizenship Committee for the WVC Global Citizenship Center

Subject:           Student Success Award Nomination

Date:               11 September 2015

I am writing in full support of West Valley College’s nomination of the Global Citizenship Center (GCC) for the Student Success Award. While I attended WVC, I was a member of the GC Center’s affiliated Global Student Club, and I participated in many of the activities and learning opportunities that the WVC Global Citizenship Committee plans and delivers through the GC Center.

One of the major ways I benefitted was by participating in a semester-long leadership development project led by faculty members of the WVC Global Citizenship Committee, graduate students from San Jose State University who are also fellows of the Salzburg Global Seminar, and teachers and administrators at Leigh High School. The aim of the project was to provide guidance and an opportunity for us WVC students to learn about global citizenship, and to practice our developing leadership skills by organizing a one-day Global Citizenship Conference for students at Leigh High School.

Participating in this project allowed me to learn about global issues, how they affect my local community, and how I can make a difference as an individual. Interacting with faculty and students at the three institutions, and then presenting the material I had learned to high school students, made me feel that I was doing important work, not just in showing the high school students that college can be really productive, but in affirming for myself that there was no way I would miss out on transferring to a university, and on continuing to graduate school.

I also attended many of the presentations organized at the WVC Global Citizenship Center, and in each I learned something new, something that affected and motivated me personally. I learned, over and over, that global citizenship is transformative: if I recognize that people and cultures and our environment are woven and interdependent, and that we are all responsible for resolving global problems, then I am a better man.

When I first set foot at West Valley College, I wanted to learn about myself, and others, and to get involved so that I could give back to the community. I wanted to be successful and to become a man of value. Honestly, I had no idea how I was going to achieve my goals prior to joining WVC’s Global Student Club. That participation helped me learn skills like problem solving, time management, leadership, goals setting, and public speaking. When I put all of these skills together, I was able to achieve my educational goals by transferring and graduating from a four-year college in a timely manner, and now I am planning on attending graduate school.

Looking back, participating in global citizenship activities was one of the best decisions I made at WVC.

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