The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

CASA honors marketing CEO

CEO of Durazo Communications Inc. Ray Durazo will be honored in the Alondra Room tomorrow at noon for his contributions to business and students.

Durazo’s award, the El Camino CASA Program Outstanding Leader award, will be presented by CASA, the Community Action for Student Achievement.

The award is given during the fall and spring semesters to people who excel in the business world and work with CASA to reach out to the community, especially students.

“CASA serves students by facilitating contacts between students and business leaders,” CASA administrator Nelly Rodriguez said. “We have been successful in creating contacts for campus events.”

CASA is an EC-based program established in 2002 to serve as a student support network.

Its goals are to raise community awareness of the educational programs EC offers, to enlist the support of Hispanic business and professional leaders to serve as mentors and to promote community involvement in order to support programs and activities for student success.

“By insuring that we address the needs of Latino students, we will be able to provide services for all other students,” Rodriguez said.

Durazo, a marketing and public relations specialist, became involved with CASA when he agreed to be the keynote speaker to officially introduce the program to the business community.

Leaders of CASA contact role models for students in the program; most recently, the program began a fundraiser with an $80,000 objective, which if the program meets, will receive a grant matching that amount.

This money will establish the Hispanic Endowment Fund, to provide scholarships and other resources for students.

Yet, the biggest challenge so far has been establishing contacts that can benefit students for the future.

“That was a big challenge,” Rodriguez said, “to find and identify where the Latino and community leaders are at.”

Through a database established by the program, Rodriguez has begun building partnerships with a strong Latino presence. The program seeks mentoring and economic assistance from Boeing, La Opinion, First Transit and other businesses.

Student involvement is also vital to the success of the community outreach program.

“Students may get involved by raising community awareness,” Rodriguez said.

“When we created the grant, it was specific that we have parent and student participation, but it’s hard for parents to participate because of work.”

CASA has quarterly meetings to discuss strategies and activities to raise community awareness for both businesses and students. The next El Camino CASA Outstanding Leader award will be presented in April 2005.

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