Ohlone College Professor Honored at Wieckowski’s Latino Heritage Leadership Ceremony - Press Release, Office of College Advancement

Thursday, October 17, 2013
Office of College Advancement
Ohlone College

Rick Arellano.Left to right: Ohlone College Professor Rick Arellano, Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski.

Fremont, CA-Rick Arellano, Professor of Computer Applications and Occupational Technology at Ohlone College, was one of five honorees who received a Latino Heritage Leadership Award at Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski's 1st Annual Latino Heritage Leadership Awards Ceremony on Friday, October 11.

The ceremony, which took place at the Newark City Hall Council Chamber, served as a platform to recognize individuals who made significant contributions to the Latino community, and have demonstrated a long-standing commitment to bettering the community. Wieckowski's office hosted the event in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, observed September 15 through October 15.

"The 25th Assembly District is one of the most diverse areas in the state of California, and we have greatly benefited from the rich cultures and traditions of the Latino community," said Bob Wieckowski in a letter to the honorees.

Ohlone College Trustee Vivien Larsen introduced Rick Arellano, known to her as "Ricardo," the two having met over 40 years ago in Oakland Technical High School. Larsen highlighted how Arellano supports, promotes and advocates for the success of the Latino community - in particular for the success and advancement in education, especially in the fields of science, and technology. Arellano is also an advocate for older adults.

Larsen described Arellano's active community leadership as a member of the board of directors for Life Eldercare, President of AARP's Newark Chapter, Secretary of Toastmasters Newark Chapter, a member of the City of Newark Senior Citizen Advisory Committee, and as a Newark Rotary Club member. Arellano also served on the Ohlone College Foundation Board and on Avanzando.

In addition to Arellano's commitment to the community, Larsen listed multiple awards he received over the years. In 2010, Arellano was awarded the U.S. House of Representatives - Special Congregational Recognition. He has also received other awards, including the California State Legislature Certificate of Recognition, and an Avanzando Award: Ohlone College Outstanding Educator of the Year.

Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski, Congressman Michael Honda, Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, and San Jose City Councilmember, Kansen Hu each presented Rick with Latino Heritage Leadership Certificates of Recognition at the awards ceremony.

In his acceptance speech, Arellano thanked his parents for allowing him to leave Lima, Peru at age 17, saying,

"I lived in the Mission District of San Francisco where I met so many individuals dedicated to the advancement of the underserved and underrepresented; I followed their footsteps. Later on, in Oakland, Stockton and the East Bay, I met other individuals with similar goals; they were also my mentors and role models; I share with all of them this Certificate of Recognition."

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