First-generation, non-traditional student Paul Medina was elected by his peers last
spring to serve as Associated Student Government (ASG) President for the 2022-2023
academic year. Medina is drawn to advocacy and student leadership and hopes to be
a role model by sharing his experiences at Compton College and encouraging other students
to get involved. "I want to help shape a more positive narrative that details what
an outstanding institution Compton College is today," he said. "It's a small, cohesive
college where you are able to connect with the administrators, faculty, and staff,
and people get to know you by name."
A resident of the East Los Angeles area, Medina is a 2004 graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School. He worked for many years in the ambulance industry while attending another community college off and on. At that time, Medina shared his desire to pursue a new career direction with a coworker who recommended he give Compton College a try. Medina eventually enrolled at Compton College in fall 2021 to pursue his career goals.
Medina's current academic focus is African American studies and sociology. He would like to transfer to either Columbia University or Georgetown University, while concurrently enrolling at Howard University, to pursue a bachelor's degree in computer science with an emphasis in cyber security. He then plans to pursue graduate degrees and attend law school. His career goal is to work in foreign affairs/international relations or another public service field. "I have great interest in cyber security and want to see more people of color represented in this important field," said Medina. "I believe we need to interrupt the current way of doing things and make these types of careers more accessible to all."
Earlier this year, Medina was appointed to serve a short term as the Compton Community College District Student Trustee for the spring 2022 semester when the position was left vacant. He wanted to become the student trustee to serve as a representative student advisory voice to the Board of Trustees to help support enrollment management and promote decision making that is student-centered. "During the spring semester, I decided to run for ASG President because I realized my work is not done and I have the goal of spreading the word about why Compton College is an excellent choice and encourage students of all ages to attend to improve their quality of life," he said.
He chose Compton College for its smaller campus environment and reputation for offering financial and many academic support resources that help students succeed, especially those from historically marginalized communities. "Compton College displays a passion for its students," he said. "I have participated in many events and activities offered by Compton College that enhance the educational experience and personal growth." Some of these activities include STEM Center engineering workshops, a summer gateway program at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Clark Atlanta University, the annual Men of Color Conference, an A2Mend Conference, and a UC and CSU Tour hosted by the Compton College Transfer Center.
"Compton College offers an extremely supportive environment for all of its students and there are many student success stories born at this campus," said Medina. "I believe, to many people looking from the outside, the City of Compton and the college have an incorrect reputation as a result of negative moments in history. All of my extracurricular leadership efforts both at Compton College and within the community college system are my way of giving back by sharing what a quality college this is, and advocating for improved educational outcomes for all students, especially students of color."
In 2021, Medina was elected as a regional affairs director with the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, interacting with 14 campuses during a one-year term. This year, he was appointed to serve on the AB 928 Associate Degree for Transfer Intersegmental Implementation Committee for the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research for a three-year term beginning in August 2022.