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New Student Leaders Find Their Paths at Allan Hancock College

Allan Hancock College has two new top student representatives excited to share their love of the college with their fellow students.

Peter Gonzalez, a 20-year-old Santa Maria resident, was elected during the spring 2013 semester and will serve as the Associated Student Body president until spring 2014. Lauren Kueffler, a 19-year-old from Nipomo, was sworn in as the new student trustee on the Allan Hancock College Board of Trustees on Tuesday. She will serve on the board until July 1, 2014.

“I think it’s great that students are allowed to serve on the board,” Kueffler said. “It’s one of many reasons that I just love this college.”

Gonzalez and Kueffler both bring experience to their new posts, having served on the ASBG board last year as the vice president and director of legislative affairs, respectively.

Both students credit the leadership program at Hancock with helping them to increase their confidence in themselves and in their future career paths. For Gonzalez, that means broadcast journalism. It has always been an interest for him, Gonzalez said, but the confidence that he gained through his involvement with ASBG convinced him it was the right choice.

“Each year I became more confident, and I felt like the leadership class was helping me come out of my shell just a little bit more,” he said.

This will be Gonzalez’s third year at Hancock and his last before transferring. As president, Gonzalez said wants to show students the benefits of becoming more involved in student clubs, in ASBG and in college life.

“If we could just reach more students and help make their experience at Hancock better for them, then I would be happy,” Gonzalez said.

Like Gonzalez, Kueffler came to Hancock with a general plan, knowing that she wanted to work with animals. She is now working toward transferring to UC Davis as an animal science management major.

“I’ve always loved animals,” she said, “but through ASBG and all the meetings we held, I discovered I really liked that and it steered me more toward the business world.”

Kueffler and Gonzalez agreed that Hancock was the best place for them to find themselves.

“I think if I had gone straight to a four-year university I would have been one of those students who leaves school and comes back,” Gonzalez said.

Instead, Gonzalez, who was home-schooled until his senior year of high school, is ready to see the world. In addition to increasing student involvement on campus, one of Gonzalez’s goals this year is to organize student trips. A trip to New York City is his dream, but taking students outside of their comfort zone and exposing them to new experiences is his main purpose, he said.

Kueffler, meanwhile, will be living her business dreams in the board room. She said she can’t wait to get into the board meetings and act as the representative for students in an institution of which she is proud to be a part.

“I really like the community college system and the way that everyone at Hancock goes out of their way to help students,” she said. “When you’re involved in student life and ASBG, you get to meet a lot of new people, not just students but a lot of good adults who want the best for you.”

— Sonja Oglesby is a public affairs and publications technician for Allan Hancock College.

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