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Dinner with the President

The 2019 Dinner with the President, A Family Affair, was a true success with over 300 guest in attendance! Community leaders, students and employees gathered to celebrate education and honor the Corona-Norco Unified School District with the President's Award for Excellence, and Eastvale Councilmember and alumna Jocelyn Yow, with the 2019 Alumnus of the Year award.

Norco College President Bryan Reece gave a compelling speech about the need to transform students' lives, the region, and talked about the vision for the College.  He included student testimonials that warmed the hearts of those that were in attendance.

“What great night to share our vision and showcase our students," said President Reece. “I am proud and grateful with the overwhelming support we received from our community members, employees and students."

Foster youth student, Ashley Calderon shared her life experience as a foster child to now pursuing a degree in bio chemistry. “I want to find a cure for diabetes and help people like my dad that has struggled with this disease all of my life. It was the reason why he could not care for me." She attributes her academic success to the support she receives from the Norco College Phoenix Scholars program, which is also known as the Foster Youth program.

RCCD Board President, Tracey Vackar acknowledged guests and shared the vision of the Board of Trustees to bring athletics and more arts programs to Norco College.

The stellar live music performances were brought by the students in the Norco College Music Arts Ensemble – Reset and Richard Nelson who played beautiful acoustic guitar melodies. Cowboy West productions provided the delicious barbecue dinner and the Historic Galleano Winery and Wicks brewing provided the drinks.

It was truly a family affair! Thank you to all that made this event a dream come true. We look forward to seeing you next year on October 22, 2020. Enjoy the event recap photos here.

Norco College Alumnus of the Year

(formerly known as the Young Alumnus of the Year award)

Call for nominations

Jocelyn Yow

2019 Alumnus of the Year

Jocelyn Yow, a San Jose native, moved to Malaysia at a young age and graduated from high school before her return to the United States.

In 2011, Yow and her family settled in Eastvale. She quickly enrolled at Norco College and became the youngest serving Student Body President. She also joined the Honors Program and became a member of Alpha Gamma Sigma.

Yow earned her associate degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Norco College in 2014, and transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, where she obtained her bachelor's degree.

She has served as a district representative for California State Senate and for the United States House of Representatives, where she worked tirelessly to help seniors, families, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and children to access valuable government services.

Yow grew up in a working-class family, where she learned the value and importance of giving back. In fact, the Yow family established a scholarship to provide financial support for high achieving Norco College students with financial need. Yow credits part of her success to Norco College and wanted to establish a scholarship that would highlight her and her families deep commitment to community service and to assist students in need.  

She was recently elected to the Eastvale City Council and is currently pursuing a master's degree in government at Harvard Extension.

Councilmember, City of Eastvale
Delegate, Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority
Primary, Civic Center/Library Sub-Committee
Alternate, Riverside Transit Agency


2019 Norco College Alumnus of the Year Jocelyn Yow


Past Recipients

2017Jefferson Tiangco 2015Rachel Spiegel 2013 Omar Gonzalez
2016 Ryan Cortez 2014Jonathan Trdan-Schmidt 2012 Naushad Huda

President’s Award for Excellence

Corona-Norco Unified School District Corona Norco Unified School District Logo

Mary Helen Ybarra
The Corona-Norco Unified School District has been a longstanding Norco College partner and supporter. It all began in 2000 when CNUSD leaders engaged in the vision to bring college classes to high schools. The vision became a reality when the John F. Kennedy Middle College High School opened at Norco College in 2006 - one of the first in California built on a college campus.  Since its inception, JFK has graduated approximately 2,400 high school students and approximately 750 college degrees and certificates equivalent to approximately 131,114 college credits.

In addition to this partnership, the CNUSD Administration and Board of Education continues to provide endless opportunities to promote higher education through Summer Advantage, a program g eared for high school seniors to place higher in English and math. Most recently, CNUSD and Norco College partnered to come up with an affordable college education pathway through Dual Enrollment. A program that provides high school students the opportunity to take college courses at their high school campus free of charge. 

“On behalf of Norco College, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to CNUSD leadership and the Board of Education," said President Bryan Reece. “We could not create and sustain these extraordinary programs without their support. We truly value and cherish their partnership and look forward to many more years of good work." 



2018 - Sabrina Cervantes60th District Assemblymember

Sabrina Cervantes 60th District Assemblymember

Sabrina Cervantes 60th District Assemblymember

California State Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes has emerged as an advocate for education and expanding resources for Veterans. In 2017, Cervantes secured a $2 million allocation in the state budget to build a Veterans Resource Center at Norco College.

The Center, once built, will allow the College to expand and enhance resources, especially in the area of matriculating Veterans to four-year universities and transitioning into the workforce.

Cervantes is Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Veterans Employment & Education and held a field hearing at Norco College to discuss increasing opportunities for Veterans at community colleges.

Cervantes was elected to the California State Assembly in 2016 and represents the communities of Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Norco, and a portion of Riverside. She is a member of the Human Rights Campaign, The PICK Group of Young Professionals, and serves on the Advisory Board for the University of California, Riverside School of Public Policy. She has previously served on the Board of Directors for the UCR Chicano Latino Alumni Association, and a number of non-profit organizations like TruEvolution and Women Wonder Writers.

Cervantes earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with a minor in Public Policy from the University of California, Riverside, and completed an Executive Education Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.



Norco College