All posts by Rico Moran

Does trying count?

Making a difference in today’s world is easy, said no one! Well, maybe a few people have. I believe that in order to understand a question such as “how do you make a difference,” one must look inward. I believe that one must know the self before one can truly answer a question with such depth.

Anyone can come to the assumption of having made a difference in one way or another. That’s the easy part.

I find myself looking out my office window every now and again, watching everyone walking by and I wonder, have I made a difference in their lives? What have I done today that made a difference not only in someone’s life but for the benefit of society?

These are some difficult questions. Each one of us possesses the right to define “making a difference” in our own way. I understand this and agree, we do define it in our own way. It can be a simple and pleasant gesture of saying hi. Or, going all out by sitting down with someone and having a conversation. Paying for someone’s meal, an invitation for a cup of coffee, helping someone with a flat tire on the side of road, simply put; paying it forward.

I like to think that we all want to make a difference but how many of us actually do? We can never really know if we have or haven’t. Unless these individuals give us some sort of affirmation, we would never be absolutely sure that we made a difference. As depressing and pessimistic it may sound, I believe it to be true.

But, let me get past my cynical sentiments.

“How do you make a difference?” I believe that the only way we can be certain that we are making a difference is to create a level of interaction between one another. This level of interaction cannot be just any interaction, but one that expresses an act of kindness. One that creates a positive relationship even if it is for just that moment. It’s hard! I will be the first one to admit it, having and conveying a true act of kindness is difficult. We are surrounded with so many distractions that we sometimes lose sight of the good. But, if we can understand this about ourselves, we can learn how to make a difference where and when it counts. If we can learn more about ourselves, we can then in turn, make the difference that others long for.

How do I make a difference? I try, try and try a little bit more. I mean, I would love to say that I have a go to difference maker but I don’t. I just try to do right and try to do it with everyone and in everything I do. I will continue to try because I believe that someday everyone will catch on and do the same. Just try!



What Have I Done!

I have been a part of GCC’s community for almost 5 years now. During my time here I have been a student, I have been a club and organization member and I have been an employee. As a student, I found myself going from class to class. Never wanting to involved myself into anything more than what was expected from me as a student. By the end of my first year I was spotted by an old friend on the way to the Student Union. She was helping out during an M.E.Ch.A. event and by the next week I was voted as their Public Relations Officer. Fast forward a few months, I was introduced to the Associated Student Government. From there forth I was fully integrated into this wonderful community. By the end of my second year, I was being asked to attend a retreat for the formation of our MEN (Male Empowerment Network) organization. Queue the amazing memory montage!

As a student, I was able to encourage other students to become a part of something bigger, a part of something more. I was able to stimulate the importance of joining and participating in clubs and organizations. GCC offers our students more than 50 clubs and organizations for our students to become a part of throughout the school year. How awesome is that? Reflecting on just that thought amazes me, not because I was a part of it but because I know that somewhere along the way I was able to help at least one student.

Throughout my involvement within these remarkable organizations, I was offered a job position through the Student Leadership Center. I started as a Game Room Attendant, and later moved up to an Office Assistant. Both positions opened up my eyes to what I like to call, opportunity! As an employee, I was able to hone my skills as a leader and develop leadership workshops. Following the guidance of my mentor, Connie Greenwell, I was able to explore my talents as a presenter for not only the clubs and organizations that I was a part of but on the national level as well. I have been blessed with the opportunity of presenting at the National Collegiate Leadership Conference and among other worthy conferences as well. When my time was done here as a student, I knew it was time to move on. Fortunately, some people here at GCC believed otherwise. I was offered the position of Program Manager for the SCALE Summer Program. Finally, something that can show what I can really do, I said to myself. Between the students that have attended my workshops and my students in the SCALE Program, I can say that I have helped in one way or another.

Now stay with me, were almost done! Currently, I am a part of an amazing team. You can find me sitting within the Testing & Student Success Services building. I am a member of GCC’s Gaucho 101 Academic Advising team. Here I get to do something that I have not seen done at any of sister colleges. We help our incoming students with nearly the entire process of becoming a student. Shortly after receiving their placement test scores, they migrate into our area where we sit down with them and have a conversation. We include the meaning behind their scores, which classes are either required or recommended for them to take within their first semester. We even go as far as discussing their future plans and academic goals. I could continue to list off everything we do here but I want to keep you entertained. But, I will add the most important part, well at least in my opinion. We help take away the anxiety, the nervousness, the feeling of not knowing, well at least parts of it. We help our incoming students realize that starting their next journey doesn’t have to be alone. That they have someone to come to for help and if we cannot help them, then we point them in the right way.  Now that’s awesome!

Now, back to the theme of this week, “How have you helped students or staff?” I personally can’t put the correct words together to give you a definitive answer or any quantitative data to support my claims. But, what I can tell you is that I have a passion for what I do. I love the opportunities that have been given to me and I love what I have gotten to do with them. I strive to help those in need, those that may be lost or alone. I strive to become a man of value. Being a part of this community, of Glendale Community College, has helped me become who I am. In return I owe my absolute best to our students and staff and that’s what I plan to give them. So, short answer, have I helped students and staff, yes. Not enough of an answer? Come have a cup of coffee with me, I’ll tell you everything!