Scholar Class – 2013
Growing up in Bakersfield, California, the West Coast’s most conservative city, Valentin Sierra has had his fair share of discrimination and homophobia while growing up. Born in to a small family of migrant farm works and raised by a single mother, Valentin has also had many other struggles throughout his life like the access to finances and educational resources, but he still rose to the challenge of promoting acceptance and tolerance in his small, closed minded city. In his Junior year of high school, he helped establish his school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance, where he was elected as President his Senior year. Under his leadership, the GSA spearheaded a campaign to end bullying of all sorts on campus, in addition to offering many opportunities for community involvement. Valentin will be attending UC Davis as a first generation college student where he hopes to continue the fight for equality and social justice.