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News Release
DACA advocate Liliana Luna earns statewide 'Women of Achievement' honor (Photo) - 02/14/18

BEAVERTON/HILLSBORO, Ore. -- Portland Community College's own trailblazer Liliana Luna is a recipient of the 2017 Women of Achievement Awards through the Oregon Commission for Women.

Luna, the Rock Creek Multicultural Center coordinator, is being recognized for her outstanding leadership in promoting equity and diversity opportunities for women within their education and civic engagement service. She will receive her award during a ceremony on March 1 that will be part of the Women's History Month proclamation signing by Governor Kate Brown.

The 26 year old serves as an educator, advocate and role model through her work with the Multicultural Center at Rock Creek (17705 N.W. Springville Road). According to the commission, "she demonstrates a commitment to equity and inclusion for students, especially women of color." A DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient, Luna possesses an associate degree from PCC, a bachelor's in criminal justice from Portland State University, and is working toward a master's in counseling education, also at PSU. She is responsible for providing an inclusive environment at the Multicultural Center and does this by supporting, retaining and empowering diverse students to help them achieve academic excellence and become leaders within the college and their communities.

"Liliana has truly made a difference at the Rock Creek Campus," said Rock Creek President Sandra Fowler-Hill. "She has made a marked and sustained impact on equity and inclusion. Because of her, this is a better place. She exemplifies leadership and accomplishment in Oregon, in education and civic engagement. She has had a demonstrable impact on the community she serves."

Additionally, Luna leads the Diversity Council at the campus, developed a partnership with the Mexican consulate to provide scholarships to undocumented and DACA students from Mexico, and founded the annual DREAMers Gala to raise money and awareness for undocumented students. Her latest accomplishment is helping to open the first Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Center at PCC. The center is the first of its kind in Oregon at a community college or university, providing resources and support for undocumented and DACA students and their families. According to Luna, there are roughly 400 DACA students at PCC, with an estimated 200 based at Rock Creek.

In 2015, Luna began her educational journey as an undocumented student at PCC -- the first in her family to go to college -- and eventually got involved in campus life through student government. She became a part-time casual employee leading the Rock Creek's Multicultural Center and overseeing its projects, like the Oregon Leadership Institute and the equity ambassadors.

Luna helped lead the effort to develop PCC's DREAM Center, which offers a variety of resources: legal services, the facilitation and processing of initial DACA applications and renewal applications, workshops on student support and college navigation resources, and academic/career advising sessions. It serves 20 families and 20 students per academic term.

"The students really pushed for this initiative to happen," Luna said. "They saw the need for center and put in a lot of activism to get it done. They went to board meetings, and met with President Mark Mitsui and the campus presidents. I'm proud of how they pushed it through.

"This is a huge accomplishment for me, too," she added. "When I was a student I couldn't say I was undocumented because it was taboo. Now, I can hold my head up high."

About Portland Community College: Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 75,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and approximately 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/

Attached Media Files: LilianaLuna1.jpg , LilianaLuna.jpg
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