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Merced College Student of the Month

March 2011

Jesse F. Ornelas


Jesse F. Ornelas


Major:                           Psychology

Interests:                       Helping others improve their English skills.

Future Goals:                Transfer to a UC Merced, majoring in Psychology

Nominating Instructor:  Valerie Lacey, EOPS Counselor  




Jesse F. Ornelas  has been selected as the Merced College Outstanding Student for the month of March.  Orneals was nominated by EOPS Conselor Valerie Lacey.  A psychology major with plans to transfer to UC Merced is Merced College’s Student of the Month for February.

A native of southern California, Ornelas is a member of the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society.  He has maintained a high grade point average and has volunteered in several community-based programs, such as the Merced Rescue Mission, local blood drives, and scholarship fundraising activities.

“It’s time that that community recognizes students who demonstrate skills and a ‘can-do attitude,’” said counselor Valerie Lacey.  Lacey nominated Ornelas for the award.

“I’ve watched Jesse succeed every semester that he has attended Merced College,” she said.  “He never complains when I make suggestions and he is an excellent example of our motto ‘Students are our focus and we are known by their success.’”

Ornelas has succeeded despite facing difficult personal circumstances.

“I have dedicated my life to helping people who have gone through similar struggles that I have and to do that I need to have an education,” Ornelas said.  “My motivation to succeed in school is to be an example to my children, for I want them to have a college education.

“I never imagined that I would be doing what I am today, because the way I was living my life two years ago was leading me to either prison or death.”

Ornelas has served his fellow students as a supplemental instructor in English.  This has given him an opportunity to help others.”

“I want to get an education that can help get me in the line of work that can allow me to help as many people as possible,” he said.

“Merced College is a stepping stone for all of this.  I originally chose Merced College because of its convenient location, but I stay because I have gained so many lifelong friends and important opportunities since I have been here.”

Congratulations are extended to Jesse F. Orneals by the Merced College administration, faculty and staff in wishing him the best in his future educational endeavors.  Orneals will be honored at the upcoming Board of Trustees Meeting and be presented with a certificate, special parking pass and $50 check. 


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Last updated on 3-2-11 by Julie Clark