Orange County Register

CSUF President Mildred García: Project Rebound Is a Second Chance for Him, for Society

He tried to appear casual — just another motorist crossing into the United States from Mexico. No white knuckles on the steering wheel, no sweat on his brow, no broken tail light, nothing to see here. But on this day, Omar Chavez’s demeanor and nondescript vehicle couldn’t save him; the Border Patrol had uncovered a pattern that allowed them to discern which cars were running drugs.

He was driving such a car.

As a student of color from East Los Angeles, Chavez had overcome many obstacles in pursuit of his bachelor’s degree at California State University, Fullerton — from attending underserved schools to being the first in his family to attend college — but on the road that day, as he was waved into secondary inspection, he knew he’d let these obstacles get the best of him. It didn’t matter that his goal was to make quick cash to pay for college; he was committing a crime, one that not only undermined his own principles, but also hurt the people of the very communities he came from.

Continue reading CSUF President Mildred García’s Titan Voice column in the Orange County Register.

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