2023 Community Report

Spotlight on Students


Angela Grantham

Angela Grantham has come a long way from the days of facing struggles as a child and making amends for bad choices as an adult. The single mother of two daughters has created a new life that includes graduating in Spring 2023 with a degree in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning). Her accomplishments earned her the Dean’s Medallion Award from the Applied Technology Division. Her story so impressed Fresno City College President Dr. Robert Pimentel, that he awarded her the Tony Cantú President’s Medallion, the highest honor a student can earn. The journey to this point was a challenge for Angela. She was an adopted child who later became part of the foster system and then an unwed mother. Angela initially came to Fresno City College 15 years ago as a Social Work major, but with a 3-year-old daughter, she couldn’t give college her full attention. What followed was not the life she had hoped for her daughter and herself.

After dropping out of classes, life got worse for Angela. She went into survival mode after losing her job and housing. It wasn’t until getting arrested in 2019 and signing a plea agreement to get out of jail and back to her daughters, that Angela realized that returning to her old life was no longer possible. She found support in the Rising Scholars program for formerly incarcerated students. First, she earned a certificate in HVAC and then completed her Associate in Science degree. Today, Angela is now the mother of two daughters, ages eighteen and five. She says she’s proud to be a good example to them. “I’m proud to show them the last couple of years have been worth it. That we, as women, can work in this trade.” Angela eventually wants to own her own business and plans to take more classes at Fresno City College in electrical and construction, then business classes. Amarisa Gonzalez

Amarisa Gonzalez, a molecular and cell biology student has a strong passion for the sciences and takes every opportunity to expand her knowledge. Amarisa was awarded the Dean’s Medallion Award in the Math, Science and Engineering division this spring. She earned two degrees in biology from Fresno City College, an Associate in Science degree and an Associate in Science Degree for Transfer. During her last semester at FCC, Amarisa was accepted into Project PoSSUM at the International Institute for Astronauti- cal Sciences (IIAS) at Florida Tech in Melbourne, FL. Only ten students get accepted, internationally, per class. The program prepares its candidates for suborbital human space flight to build unprecedented models of this region of our atmosphere through tomographic imaging and in-situ sampling of nocti- lucent clouds.

This impressive FCC student graduated from Leon S. Peters Honors program last May, was president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society’s FCC Chapter, Vice President of FCC’s Science and Engineering Club and a biology and chemistry tutor. She is a first-generation college student who is now attending UC Berkeley.


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