Jair Juarez, also a second year student is seeking a career in social sciences and knows he wants to be involved in student diversity at the college or university level.
“During my first two years at Rochester High School, I was very unsure of what school I would attend after graduation. I loved the idea of going to college but I just didn’t know how to get there,” said Juarez. He received a visit from several members of the Centralia College Latinos Unidos Club and was shown how he could overcome obstacles and enroll in college. That visit opened Juarez eyes to see what he could do if he set his mind to it.
Juarez made it into college and has built a solid 3.8 grade point average, strong enough to get him into the college’s Honors Society. His ambition has also pushed him to become the president of the Latinos Unidos Club, in part to return the favor club members gave him when he was in high school. He has also helped organize Citizenship Day, a time set to help register individuals for U.S. citizenship. Under his leadership club has also been active in connecting with Hispanic high school students and make the effort to show underserved individuals that they can succeed and that they, too, can get a college education.
Juarez has also been active in the International Student Club where he has helped plan cultural events and community service projects. He has also volunteered as a helper with the community Hispanic Festival.
Jeffery Lowdermilk, who spent most of his life living in Japan and China, is a second-year student working toward a career in software engineering and will fine-tune that by specializing in research and development. His time at Centralia College is not only helping him to build a solid educational foundation, it is also helping him to adjust to education in America.
“A year ago I enrolled at Centralia College with some trepidation, not quite knowing what to expect. The prospect of entering (college), while not a cause for panic, did make me feel unsure of myself and my abilities,” said Lowdermilk. A 4.0 grade point average has certainly boosted his confidence. “Confidence is certainly no prerequisite to success but it does help,” he said.
During his first year at Centralia College, Lowdermilk worked as an instructional aide for the college’s Center for Disability Services. He worked as a mentor and tutor and provided testing and technology support for students.
As a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the two-year college honor society, Lowdermilk helped launch the first Go Green Expo, and he worked with the Twin Cities Green Team to plant trees at local parks. Lowdermilk served as a team leader in the program that introduces new high school students to college life. He continues his membership in the International Student Club, where he is an English conversation partner for foreign exchange students.
Aside from his academic life, Lowdermilk performed in two Evergreen Playhouse performances, and was a volunteer for the Washington Hispanic Festival.