"Growing up on a small farm outside of Salem, I never planned on going to college. I thought you had to be rich or a genius--and I was neither. No one in my family had ever attended, and I knew nothing about student loans or even how to get started. Not wanting to be a burden on my single mother, I joined the Army. The Army gave me the opportunity to serve my country, and it taught me discipline, a trade, and it gave me a chance to earn money for college.
After eight years in the Army, I returned to home and enrolled at PCC in the fall of 2004. The next two years changed my life. I had been a mediocre high school student, but I thrived at PCC. I was inspired, motivated and intellectually challenged by the amazing and dedicated faculty. My time there paved the way for my later academic success and professional development. I transferred to Portland State University and graduated Magna Cum Laude in English, and then went on to earn a Masters in Health Care Administration and a Masters in Business Administration from Baylor University. I now work at a senior level in the Veterans Health Administration, serving my fellow veterans.
My involvement with PCC goes beyond my experiences as a student. I developed and taught a troubleshooting lab for PCC's Electronic Engineering Technical (EET) program, and created internship opportunities for PCC students. I also served on the EET Advisory Board, where I had the opportunity to advise on curricular needs to better prepare students for entering the workforce.
As a first-generation Latino college student, an Army veteran, a former PCC student, instructor and advisory board member, I bring a new and underrepresented perspective to the PCC Board of Directors. With 20+ years in the healthcare industry, I work at the strategic level to bring diverse stakeholders together to achieve common goals. I'm excited to use these skills in service of PCC and the wider community." - Valdez Bravo