Student trustee finds strength in past, optimism for future


Christian Urrutia / The Advocate

Contra Costa Community College Student Trustee Gary Walker is committed to making sure students feel properly represented. Walker attends Los Medanos College.

By Jose Jimenez , Spotlight Editor

He is your Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) student trustee and his job is to represent the voices of student organizations on various topics to the Governing Board.

Gary Simeon Walker said he is “humbled” to represent all district students this year as the district student trustee.

When he lost his mother, Vicki Walker, when he was 5 years old to cancer, he lost a special connection but still keeps the spirit of her living through him each and every day.

Walker earned two associate degrees at Los Medanos College — one in behavior and social sciences and the other in arts and humanities.

Currently, he is taking his last course to earn a certificate in Spanish because he feels that being able to speak, read and write in Spanish is necessary to remain competitive in the job market today.

“I grew up in a small town in upstate New York and I remember ‘coming out of the closet’ my junior year of high school in 1994. That was when I felt most comfortable to present myself to the world as my true being.”

Walker said he is an advocate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) group — QIA (Queer, Intersex and Asexual) and supports their goals.

But he said his number one priority this academic year is to make sure all Contra Costa College students feel properly represented.

“I will chair the Student Trustee Advisory Council meeting once a month at the District Office which will give the student presidents of the Associated Student Unions (districtwide) an opportunity to inform me on how every respected college student voice feels about topics on the Governing Board agenda.”

In fact, CCC Senior Executive Assistant Michael Peterson said Walker will be an advocate for all students on campus to have their “voices heard.”

“I see him having a positive engagement with the entire board and I absolutely agree with his future decisions as student trustee,” Peterson said.

The process to become the student trustee is the same year after year, Walker said.

He said the only change that would be different is that the position at the helm rotates between the three colleges in the district.

Last year’s trustee was from DVC, Ivan De Los Santos, and Walker said being enrolled at LMC helped in his election even though he ran uncontested.

“I believe Gary is an excellent student trustee and will be a great representative for our CCC students and throughout the district,” CCC Interim President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh said.

Walker said he wants to empower all students that belong to an underrepresented minority population to discover their confidence to speak out about their experiences, both good and bad, at their respective colleges.

“We all have a unique story which shapes our narratives and they all deserve a voice at the head of the table and I will work hard for the students to ensure they are all heard on the district level.”