September 12, 2023

Mer’s C2C Proposal Approved Unanimously!

Source: Meredith Curry Nuñez, Executive Director of NCCPC

On Tuesday, September 12, 2023, our Executive Director Mer Curry Nuñez attended her first in-person board meeting as a Cradle to Career (C2C) Community Engagement Advisory Board Member. Check out the meeting agenda and materials HERE.

Mer is the first and only Advisory Board member to date to 1) submit a proposal to enhance C2C, 2) present on that proposal, and 3) receive approval for her proposal!

What was the proposal about?

Greater inclusion of all ranges of students (high school, certificate completers, CCC, and 4-year) in our governing and advisory boards by making it explicit in the Community Engagement Plan OR another grounding document (e.g., bylaws) that governing boards will set a goal of appointing them annually.

You can review Mer’s presentation slides HERE.

What happened at the presentation?

Mer presented for 10 minutes, highlighting important components of her proposal and expanding on it. 

She shared an excerpt from newly appointed student board member Mike Nguyen from the August 2023 Governing board meeting, “As a first-generation student and the first in my family to seek higher education, I deeply understood the challenges of navigating the college process this past year. I would use this platform to shape the Cradle-to-Career Data System by providing insight from a youth perspective and raising awareness of equitability across every part of the process…I want to empower students to know they are not alone and that support is here for them. Their full potential is achievable.”

Mer shared the precedent for student appointees on other state bodies as well as examples of education code used to codify the requirement for students on those boards and commissions.

From CCC BOG Ed Code:

Two voting student members. Each student member may exercise the same right to attend meetings of the board, and its committees, and shall have the same right to vote as the members appointed pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (c).

From CSU BOT Ed Code:

Two students from the California State University, who shall have at least sophomore year standing at the institutions they attend, and who remain in good standing as students during their respective terms, shall also be appointed by the Governor to serve on the board for two-year terms.

She recommended the specific sections of the Governance Manual that could be enhanced in the future to codify this requirement, and she suggested that at least two (2) students be appointed to the same board to encourage peer learning and networking.

Mer wants to thank the following community members for their Public Comments:

  1. Joe Herrity, Youth Liberation Movement
  2. AJ Johnson, California Competes
  3. Bao Vang, NCCPC

Mer wants to thank the following Advisory Board Members for their Member Comments:

  1. Michelle Cheang, LA Promise Fund
  2. Marcos Montes, SoCal CAN
  3. Jackie Nevarez, Sac City Unified
  4. Dr. Christopher Nellum, The Education Trust–WestAdam Gottlieb, UNITE-LA
  5. Mike Nguyen, UC Berkeley first-year student
  6. Alexis Takagi, Santa Clara University PhD student
  7. and other members who voiced their support (sorry if we missed you)!

The motion to approve the proposal with amendments was made by Marcos Montes of SoCal CAN and was seconded by Michelle Cheang of LA Promise Fund. All members present gave Aye votes for unanimous approval.

What were the amendments?

Thanks to the feedback of members who gave comments, the amendments include:

  • Compensation for student leaders (e.g. stipends, scholarships, support covering COA)
  • Different ages of students, parent students, and even parents of younger students
  • C2C staff support needed for students
  • Different segment representation (e.g. CCC vs CSU vs UC vs AICCU)

What happens next?

The C2C staff will review Mer’s proposal, take into consideration the feedback shared on September 12, 2023, and produce a feasibility study that will be presented to the Community Engagement Advisory Board and the public in March 2024.

What else is new with C2C?

The Community Engagement Advisory Board approved the appointment of a Community Engagement Advisory Board Liaison whose role is to provide reports at a standing agenda item on the Data and tools agendas. Mer was appointed as the proxy/backup!