A Santa Rosa Junior College student will head an association that advocates for the rights of millions of community college students across the state.
Omar Paz Jr. has been elected president of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, SRJC officials announced Thursday. In his new role, officials said, Paz will be in charge of organizing biannual conferences and encouraging students to run for student senates, and he will be a voice for students enrolled at the 112 community colleges in the state.
Paz, a graduate of Sonoma Valley High School, said he plans to push for more college funding and financial assistance for disadvantaged and minority students as the head of the statewide student senate.
“I wouldn’t be in college if it wasn’t for financial aid,” said Paz, who is the first in his family to attend college.
Headquartered in Sacramento, the association represents 2.1 million students, Paz said.
Paz, who lives in Kenwood, previously served as the student body president at Santa Rosa Junior College. He’s also the youngest member on the Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force, which Sonoma County supervisors formed last year to examine options for community policing programs after the fatal shooting of 13-year-old Andy Lopez by a sheriff’s deputy.