Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Military Ball honors service members and graduating veterans

Edward Fernandez
The Cerritos College Foundation grants $20,000 to the Ben Pendleton Student Veterans Memorial Scholarship.

Student veterans from across all branches and their guests met for a night of dinner and dancing during the Spring Military Ball on April 26 in the student center.

Cerritos College president, Dr. Jose Fierro opened festivities, announcing that together with U.S. congresswoman, Michelle Steele, $1 million was secured to employ student veterans on campus. Employment is found through the school’s new veteran program, the Career Command Center which aims to scale into a nationwide program.

Dr. Fierro stated that student veterans have the work experience, and work ethic, are reliable, and are just plain fun to work with.

Additionally, $40,000 was raised for the Ben Pendleton Student Veteran Memorial Scholarship.

Juan Bustamante and Damien Garcia, business administration majors; Reimundo Suarez-Tapia, real estate major; Roberto Camberos and Dominique Wooten, administration of justice majors; Luis Jara, psychology major; Allan Sudaria Daus, nursing major; Alexis Pacheco, philosophy major and Noel Rabina, mathematics major were all brought to the stage one-by-one to be celebrated for their upcoming graduation.

Camberos, who deployed to Iraq and Syria as an Army infantryman received a grand total of eight awards ranging from the city of Norwalk level to the congressional level.

“I felt like a celebrity getting recognized,” Camberos said smiling.

Having already started his career as a union electrician, Camberos began his academic career at Cerritos College to build himself to new heights.

Rabina, who served as an electrician’s mate in the Navy and a power generator specialist and maintenance supervisor in the army Army, said that he was thankful for the support,

“The event was awesome. Being in the military, I’ve been onstage a lot, but it was an honor and a humbling experience meeting so many politicians,” he added.

James Castaneda-Cortes, who was invited to the event noted that “people don’t recognize veterans enough.”

Ruben Torrez agreed.

“I liked how the veterans got a spotlight tonight,” he said.

Torrez, who served in the Marines as a network administrator and is a member of the student veterans club said that both the club and Cerritos’s Veterans Resource Center are very welcoming organizations. They comprise a small, tight-knit community, yet their impact is immense.

“They like to check up on us,” Torrez said, and for some veterans facing a changed world after having spent years away from home, that can mean the world.

The student veterans club is open to all, veterans, reservists, and individuals with no military experience at all.

Towards the end of the night, jackets came off, ties loosened and dresses were hiked as attendees swarmed over to the dance floor. Fan favorites such as No Rompas Mi Corazon, the Cha-Cha Slide, and the Cupid Shuffle played with an entire platoon’s worth of people dancing along. Even the culinary arts chefs got in on the action.

Music was provided by Erik Duane, a Marine Corps. veteran.

Dr. Fierro thanked the VRC’s partners. The National University, the Downey Kiwanis Club, and the Bellflower Moose Lodge.


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About the Contributor
Edward Fernandez
Edward Fernandez, Staff Writer
Edward Fernandez is a staff writer for Talon Marks covering arts and entertainment and community news. Aside from reporting, Fernandez enjoys reading and hiking. He hopes to transfer to Cal State Fullerton in the Fall.
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