Amparo Medina understands that the mentoring students receive from faculty and staff can play a pivotal role in a college student’s academic experience. She chose to be a student activities specialist at Oxnard College so that she could be a mentor, supporting all students in achieving their goals.
“Student life creates a space where students find a sense of belonging, a space where students can connect with one another and a space to advocate for student needs,” she says.
For her unwavering commitment to students—and dedication to her coworkers as classified senate president—Amparo earned the title Oxnard College 2022 Classified Employee of the Year.
Amparo began her career with the college in 2015 as an administrative assistant in the Educational Assistance Center (EAC). Prior to starting her current role last September, she worked as a senior administrative assistant in Business Services and a student support and success specialist II in STEM. Her experience, along with her master’s degree in educational counseling, prepared her to address the needs of OC’s students and help them discover untapped talents.
For the 2022 Diversity in Culture Festival, Amparo and her department organized a live Poetry Slam, a competition involving employees and students reading or performing poetry in front of a panel of judges.
“We had individuals compete who had never written a poem in their life, or who had never shared their poems publicly or been on stage,” she says. “And there they were putting their fears aside as we celebrated their words and artistry.”
She refers to the Slam as “a magical experience” and considers her relationships with students the most fundamental aspect of her work.
“Students share their personal stories with me. I get to watch them as they not only persevere, but as they also learn how to channel their lived experiences to guide their peers. When a student shares their personal thoughts and experiences with me, it is not something I take lightly.”
As classified senate president, Amparo champions the needs of her colleagues. She undertook this role to ensure that the classified voice is included in decisions impacting the campus community.
“Most of us spend more time at work than we do with our families. It is important that we create an environment where classified and all employees feel heard and appreciated.”
Amparo reveals the support and guidance she has received from her colleagues have given her a sense of purpose and direction she never had as a young adult.