Former students inducted into Skyline’s hall of fame

 (Sabrina Belara)

(Sabrina Belara)

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Seven former Skyline students were inducted into the Skyline Stars: Transfer Student Hall of Fame on Monday, March 27.

The ceremony was held in the Gallery Theatre. Vice President of Student Services, Loretta Adrian, welcomed the crowd with a few opening remarks, a number of Skyline staff, faculty and supporting family and friends where amongst the crowd. Last year, during the first Skyline Stars ceremony, six former Skyline transfer students were inaugurated.

Linda Rosa Corazon, director and coordinator of the transfer opportunity center here at Skyline, created the Skyline Stars: Transfer Student Hall of Fame to honor former students who have achieved academic and career success. A portion of the president’s innovation fund, which is made up of donations from various corporations, community individuals and political officials, was granted to make this annual recognition possible.

“Fifteen years of being a councilor I saw a lot of success stories and that’s how I decided to open the transfer hall of fame,” said Corazon.

The prevailing theme throughout the ceremony was one of Skyline family and unity.

Many of the individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame have maintained their relationship by giving back to the school, in addition to finding relationships such as inductee Mark Simon who met his wife of 30 years at Skyline, and inductee Gracie Hough who also met her husband here, Skyline math professor, Rick Hough.

“My mother went here at the same time I went here so it’s a full service school,” said Simon.

Hellen Zhang and Andy Davis transferred from Skyline College to UC Berkeley and were the first mother and son in UC Berkeley history to be simultaneously accepted into the school. In addition to the numerous accomplishments they have both achieved, the two are now teachers at Skyline. Zhang teaches accounting and Davis teaches math.

“Skyline College gave us a feeling of family so great that now I can become a teacher at Skyline and I can give back to Skyline,” said Davis.

Upon receiving their award each inductee, many whom are immigrants to the United States and came here not knowing one word of English, shared their personal Skyline anecdotes, discrediting any possible excuses of being unable to succeed.

“If you persevere you can achieve everything you want,” said Violeta Borjas, who transferred to San Francisco University, graduated with a B.S. in nursing, and is now a registered nurse at Children’s Hospital in Oakland. “Having a learning disability put me a little bit behind on the starting line. What ever I went through to become a nurse I am very proud of because I’m not the 4.0 student that graduated with honors. I’m the one who struggled to get a C and pass. And the one that took statistics three times because I could not pass the class.”

An array of faculty and staff as well as the many sources available at Skyline; such as Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), Educational Opportunity Programs & Services (EOPS), and Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS), were credited numerous times by the inductees, who claimed their success at the University level wouldn’t have been possible without the support they received from Skyline.

“Linda Rosa Corazon helped me in so many ways,” said Zhang. “Coming to Skyline College has been a great turning point that changed the direction of my life. Sometimes one person can change your perspective on life, Linda is that person. She told me ‘You can do it’. And she encouraged me to transfer to UC Berkeley. I took her advice and I did.”

Additional information contributed by Crystal Shum