CSUN Alumnus Recognized by First Lady at White House Summit

From the day California State University, Northridge alumnus Homero Magaña M.A. ’12 (Educational Administration) came to California from Mexico, he has been dedicated to getting an education.

Magaña’s father, an agricultural worker, brought Homero (who was 12 at the time) and his other children to the United States to get a better education and improved life. Last month, Homero Magaña’s dedication was validated when First Lady Michelle Obama recognized him at the College Opportunity Day of Action.

“Out of all the recognitions in my life, by far this is one of the most rewarding because it validates all the years of dedication and commitment to educational excellence,” Magaña said. “This recognition for me inspires me to be a voice for the thousands of students and parents who sometimes believe that education is not necessary.”

Magaña was selected to introduce the First Lady at the White House event on Dec. 4. The First Lady thanked the 33-year-old Moorpark High School counselor for his introduction and applauded his success.

“He’s just an amazing story, an amazing person,” the First Lady said. “[He’s] a clear reminder of why we’re here today.”

The White House College Opportunity Day of Action is part of President Obama’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders and nonprofit organizations to support students across the country to help the nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment. CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison was among hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders, including CSU Chancellor Timothy White, to also participate in the event.

Harrison said CSUN will continue to do its part by supporting research and career pathways, and strengthening project-based learning and programs that link coursework to the world of work through engaged STEM research and careers starting in the first year of college.

Magaña said CSUN has contributed to his success. After graduating from high school, he attended Moorpark Community College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s in counseling at San Diego State University. He graduated from CSUN in 2012 with his master’s in educational administration.

“I strongly believe that having a positive attitude in life despite the barriers we face as first-generation college students is key to achieving goals in life,” Magaña said. “It is my hope that other students and parents will see this example in my story and, as a result, become inspired to remove those barriers that prevent them from maximizing their full potential.”