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I would like to tell Santa Clarita a little bit about my friend and counselor, Edel Alonso.

Looking back on my 36 years, I must say my high school years were definitely the most difficult to face.

Small for my age and extremely shy, my confidence was low, I was frightened of the world, and my greatest challenge was the bullying I faced on a daily basis. This was not normal bullying, but vicious harassment.

Edel not only helped me with my classes at Valencia High School, but recognized the damage that I was suffering at the hands of some of my classmates and took a bold stand on my behalf.

She collaborated with all of my teachers and, working together, they created a safe educational environment for me so that I could remain in school.

I am only one of many students for whom Edel created a safe haven when others attacked them. She viewed each of us as someone who truly mattered.

When I discovered she would again be my counselor at COC, I was ecstatic. There she guided me through the next chapter of my life and continued to nurture both my career goals and my self-confidence.

Today, after transcending all of my insecurities, I am the director of operations at BMS Programming, a software company I helped build from the ground up.

Where would I be without Edel Alonso, who truly cared when I felt alone and scared?

As a former student who knows Edel and has witnessed what she is capable of, I highly recommend her for COC’s Area 2 Board of Trustees seat. She is wonderful with students and a great supporter of teachers.

She will give each individual a voice. Her work, her passion, her integrity, her good merits, and her amiable intentions deserve to be recognized!

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