chemeketa students

Monthly Archives: November 2015

Dec. 5 workshop on applying for jobs at Chemeketa

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Looking to take the next step in your career with a job at Chemeketa? Learn tips for your job search at a workshop Saturday, December 5.

 

The workshop will cover-

  • The job application process at Chemeketa
  • Optimizing your application, resume and cover letter
  • Interview skills demonstration

Workshop: Understanding the Job Application Process at Chemeketa
Saturday, December 5, 2015
10- 11:30 am
Building 3, Room 116


Meet alumna Fabiola Regla Ramos

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

When you think of reasons that might prohibit one from reaching their educational potential, what comes to mind? Do language barriers, domestic violence, family obligations or homelessness make your list?

For Fabiola Regla Ramos, it wasn’t one but all of these setbacks that slowed her progress—but she refused to let them break her spirit. Now Fabiola is a role model for those experiencing similar obstacles and, perhaps more importantly, for her son and daughter.

Born and raised in Comala, Colima Mexico, Fabiola was brought to the U.S. against her wishes at the age of 14. Though she spoke no English, she was placed into mainstream classes due to a lack of school resources. It wasn’t long before she failed her classes, dropped out of high school and ran away to elope with her boyfriend.

But life didn’t turn out how she had hoped. “I suffered domestic violence for many years,” Fabiola recalls. “First at the hands of my own father, then in foster care and finally at the hands of my husband.” When her ex-husband turned his physical abuse to her son, Fabiola gained the courage to leave and take a chance at a better life for her children and herself.

For nine months, Fabiola and her kids were homeless, living in a shelter while her divorce was finalized. She took this time to find a job and a place to live, finding work as a waitress. While she enjoyed the job, she quickly discovered it couldn’t support the needs of her family.

“I started thinking of ways in which I could improve my opportunities,” says Fabiola. “I wanted something more, but I wasn’t sure what exactly. I only knew I wanted a job that had a purpose. My drive was to create a better future for my kids.”

Her local Worksource office changed her life, helping her build a resume and connecting her with a program that paid for her GED classes and a CNA certification at Chemeketa. She took the leap and returned to school 10 years after she had dropped out.

“When I started taking GED classes I had the choice of taking them in Spanish, but I wanted to challenge myself and took the classes and the exams in English,”says Fabiola. “I knew that learning how to write and read in English was essential in order to provide my kids with a better future.”

It took nine months for Fabiola to obtain her GED and CNA through Chemeketa. She credits the support of counselors, staff, tutors and teachers for helping her change her life.

“I had a wonderful experience and felt like I was a part of something big for the first time,” Fabiola recalls. “I had tasted knowledge and I was hungry for more.”

She went on to earn her associate degree and is now enrolled at Western Oregon University planning to earn her bachelor’s degree in psychology in the spring of 2016.

“I was once an adolescent who felt out of place and had no hope or dreams for the future,” Fabiola recalls. “Now I have become a better parent and I have a job that serves a purpose, a job that allows me to help people in a position I once was.”

Fabiola works as a teacher assistant for the Spanish GED for Chemeketa’s Dallas center and volunteers as an advocate for equality and human rights at Voz Hispana and she was selected as a guest speaker for Oregon’s 2015 GED Summit. Her five-year plan includes getting a master’s degree in Social work, buying a home and starting a savings account for her kids’ college education.

“I am thankful and proud of the opportunities I seized and I look forward many more to come,” she says. “I will never forget that all it took was to take a chance, a chance to go back to school to obtain a GED. Knowledge set me free—and there’s no stopping me now.”


Meet Caleb: Part-time custodian, part-time poet

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

To Caleb Stratemeyer, poetry is a way of leading by example.

“Everybody wants to learn,” he says, “but at the same time, how does someone learn if they’re too embarrassed to ask questions or if they don’t have someone they trust enough to give them the right answer?”

That’s where Caleb believes he can make a difference. “My poetry is a way of teaching us all how to get along better without pointing fingers.”

Caleb discovered his talents during his seventh grade LRC class where a poetry assignment and a helpful teacher gave him confidence as a writer.

Pairing poetry with his interest in listening to and helping others, Caleb found the topic he was most passionate about: treating women with respect.

“I’ve had a lot of female friends give me advice on the world. Without them I would be 100% lost,” he says.

But as his friends opened up to him about their experiences with physical, mental and emotional abuse, Caleb turned to poetry as an outlet. “I’ve always tried to do what is right, but it was my friends who taught me how to do it with heart.”

Now he uses his words as a tool for presenting different perspectives, inspiring change of hearts, focusing on solutions and ending the cycle of abuse.

“I can show people how to be gentle and compassionate,” he says.

Caleb has had the opportunity to share his poetry at open mics at his church, Chemeketa’s Multicultural Center and most recently at the HVAC exhibit. Naturally one to shy away from the spotlight, Caleb has appreciated the support and feedback of his friends and colleagues.

“I don’t want to come off as some perfect person. I’ve been stubborn, overprotective and controlling, but I’ve learned from mistakes,” Caleb reflects. “And something tells me I’m not quite done learning.”

While he knows reducing divorce rates and ending abuse, rape and human trafficking is a large task to undertake, Caleb is steadfast in his calling of being a male role model.

He meets regularly with other like-missioned men as part of the group “Men for Hope and Safety” to take action and raise awareness.

“I don’t know how to go about it but I think if I get there some day that’s great,“ he says. “What I’m doing now is a good start.”

Read a selection of his poetry

Eyes into the negative

The Wings that shall Sparkle


Veterans recognized at event

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Veterans Day 2015A message of the community stepping up to take care of war veterans was the key takeaway from Chemeketa Community College’s annual Veterans Day observance event on Nov. 5.

In his keynote address, Oregon Rep. Paul Evans, a veteran and Chemeketa communications instructor, said every person has a stake in how veterans are treated in America.

“Every time a veteran is dishonored, all of us are dishonored,” Evans said.

America is currently a nation with five distinct generations of war veterans, from World War II to the current conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, Evans said. Many veterans have not received suitable post-war assistance to adjust back to civilian life, with 22 veterans a day committing suicide.

“We need systems and support in place if veterans are to go to war,” Evans said.

The event also included the presentation of colors by the All-Nations Native American Color Guard. The singing of the Star Spangled Banner and additional music was provided by Chemeketa student Anthony Dixon.

The annual event is sponsored by the Chemeketa Veterans Club and Multicultural Student Services.


Meet Selina: Helping students and families

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa advisor Julio Cortez gave a small bit of advice to a struggling CAMP student seven years ago that ended up making a big difference.

The CAMP student was Selina Ramon Sanchez. She was part of the first Chemeketa Scholars cohort in 2008, and she was dismayed to find herself struggling in a Chemeketa math class. Math and science had always been Selina’s strength as student at North Marion High. She even considered becoming a doctor until she realized the burden that years of medical school would place on her family. She came to Chemeketa looking for other ways to help her community and that tough math class caused her to question whether she even belonged here.

“I was afraid and didn’t think anyone would help me,” she recalled. “Julio told me to speak up and be my own advocate. So I talked with the instructor and he was really helpful.”

Ramon Sanchez transferred to Western Oregon University where she earned an interdisciplinary studies degree combining studies in everything that interested her: Spanish, accounting and psychology. Her intent for her education was to help members of the Latino community improve how they manage their personal finances. While at WOU she kept a part-time job as a registration assistant at Chemeketa Woodburn where she advocated for the economic benefits of education.

She started work for the Oregon Department of Human Services but kept an eye on job openings at Chemeketa.

“I feel like I belong to Chemeketa,” she says.

Her chance to act on that sentiment came when Chemeketa opened a position in financial aid to help with the workload anticipated from implementing the Oregon Promise. Selina was hired to help students and families navigate the complexities of paying for college. She is currently the only Spanish-fluent employee in Chemeketa’s financial aid department.

“The Oregon Promise is totally going to open the doors for so many students,’ she exclaims.

Many of them will have some idea of how Selina helped them. Maybe they’ll get some advice from Julio along the way too. What they may never appreciate is how their conversation seven years ago created an advocate for college access.

 


“Drawing Deeper” featured at art gallery

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Drawing Deeper at art galleryWhile most Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery exhibits feature a single artist, the latest presentation will instead focus on a specific medium to draw you in.

“Drawing Deeper” will run from Nov. 4 to Dec. 4 in the gallery. The exhibit will featuring five different artists focused on the artistic discipline of drawing. The pieces were curated by Laura Mack, chair of Chemeketa’s art department.

“The work is rich because the way the marks are made is as forceful as the subject matter,” Mack wrote in her statement. “The quality of their approaches reflects the quality of their observations as they question, explain, or simply present.”

The artists featured in the drawing exhibit are Debra Beers, Elaine Green, April Coppini, Megan Vossler and Samantha Wall.

A reception will be held on Nov. 4 from 12:30 to 2:30 pm at the gallery, located on the first floor of Building 3 on the Salem campus.

The gallery is open from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, or by appointment.