Candidate Profile: Marco Durazo
Please share your qualifications and why you are interested in serving on the San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees.
Community College changed my life. I left high school with a 1.7 GPA, ranked 353/365 of graduating seniors. I had no direction and was earning minimum wage. My mother had come to this nation so that her children could have better life chances. Yet, at age eighteen, I had no plan, limited opportunities, and was unsure of my calling in life.
A counselor at my local community college encouraged me to enroll. Hard work coupled with academic and financial support, a culturally relevant support network, and a tailored academic program helped me earn admission to UCLA in just two years.
I went on to earn a bachelor's degree at UCLA, earned an advanced degree at MIT, and finally a doctorate in Political Science. Community College made this all possible for me. I am a proud product of the community college system and I believe in making sure other students have similar opportunities.
I am now a Professor at USF. My pride in sharing this is tempered when I think of the many others whose story did not have the same outcome. When I attended Community College ~20% of enrolled students successfully transferred to a four-year university. That statistic has not changed much. Moreover, the challenges associated with obtaining a quality, economical, and technologically relevant education have only multiplied.
This is why I have dedicated my life to enhancing educational outcomes for others regardless of social capital, language abilities, and financial resources.
I am seeking a seat on the San Mateo Community College Board of Trustees because I firmly believe that my professional, educational, and community service have positioned me well to serve as Trustee. Championing educational access, equity, innovation, stewardship, and collaborative governance are all hallmarks of my public and community service.
I have served on various educationally based non-profit boards like the San Bruno Education Foundation (SBEF), the EduCare Foundation, reviewed scholarship applications for the San Bruno Community Foundation (SBCF), coached T-ball, played Santa Claus during the holidays, and responded to community need on a city-wide basis as a member and past president of the San Bruno Lions Club. I have also held appointed governance roles for the San Bruno Traffic, Safety and Parking Commission (TSPC) and currently serve as the Vice-Chair of the Planning Commission.
Our institutions of higher education need to reflect and be responsive to the needs of students in our communities. Doing so will take a collective effort. Strategic recruitment of students, tailored educational plans directed to transfer and vocational goals, and a continual focus on making a
community college education as affordable as possible are all priorities. We must also ensure that the heart and soul of SMCCD--the people that teach, support, counsel and mentor our students are supported.
I want Community College to be a life changing experience for all students.
I am committed to:
• Increasing educational opportunities for all.
• Ensuring our most vulnerable have access.
• Supporting the mission and vision of SMCCD.
I would be humbled to serve as a Trustee.