Leonardo Rodriguez is a Dreamer, Political Science Major, and a Community Advocate who has promptly forged a platform that allows student issues to be highlighted. Providing a strong voice that is supported by students and student leaders is not only necessary but essential on the California Student Aid Commission.
Leonardo’s major steps towards building such a platform in the span of 9 months began as Student Trustee (21/22) at Mendocino College, then later when elected by fellow CCC Student Trustees to serve as Student Member (21/22) on the CA Community College Trustee’s Board (CCCT). Being a member on the CCCT board has allowed him to represent the voices of over 1.9 million CA Community College students, over 100 Community Colleges, pushing for implementation of anti-racist policies, student retention initiatives, and expanding dual enrollment. Leonardo was then appointed to the California Student Aid Commission by Governor Gavin Newsom.
As one of the few states that provide financial aid for Undocumented Students, he will provide a strong and unique perspective that reflects the progress California seeks. Through his experience as a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient and first-generation student he personally understands the unique barriers both undocumented students and all students face, leading him to fight for immigration reform along with legislation that aids students. Leonardo has advocated for financial aid reform and immigration reform through Congressional office visits with California’s congressional delegation.
In Spring of 2022, Leonardo will graduate from Mendocino College with an Associates for Transfer in Political Science, Associates for Transfer in History, and an Associates in Liberal Arts & Sciences with an emphasis on Social Sciences.