Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

The Teaching & Learning Center

TLC Student Spotlights


Photo of Carla Gonsalez

Carla Gonsalez

Carla is an XL6 student who recently attended PCC's Leadership Retreat. She will be presenting at LAUSD high schools on leadership, motivating students to continue their education instead of going straight into the workforce. She took part in the TLC's Chem Jam last winter and was a tutor for the 2009 Math Jam.

I thank everyone from the TLC because they have given me support and opportunities and helped me grow. Thanks to them I have developed a great network of friends that guide me to keep going forward.

Photo of Denise Inigues

Denise Inigues

Denise is an XL 6 student and now a peer tutor and mentor for .XL 8. She has shown great dedication and a strong emotional connection to her tutees. She is recognized as someone who will always take time out of her busy schedule to make sure that her tutees get the help they need. Her GPA and achievements at PCC show what an extraordinary role model and ideal addition to the XL staff she is.

The experience I will never forget is becoming a tutor and working with the .XL8 Summer Bridge/First-year Experience Program. As a student I learned from my teachers, but as a tutor I learned from the students.

Photo of Yesenia Ramirez

Yesenia Ramirez

Yesenia was in XL Now and is a campus leader of MEChA. She recently attended PCC's Leadership Retreat and will be presenting to local high schools on leadership in 2010. In Spring 2010 she received the President's Latino Advisory Committee Scholarship. Her goal is to transfer to CSULA in Fall 2010.

I would like to thank the TLC, particularly Tito, Melva, Javi, and Ms. Villanueva for their support and dedication to students like me. Through the XL Now program, I was able to challenge myself in what I thought was my weakest subject, English, while enriching it with a Chicano Studies course.

Photo of Zulay Saldana

Zulay Saldana

Zulay is a prime example of what all first-generation college students can be if they take advantage of TLC and PCC resources. As an .XL 8 first-year experience student, not only has Zulay excelled in all of her classes (with a 3.0 grade point average), but within her first year she has gone from basic skills courses to transfer-level work and will be ready to transfer soon.

When I got accepted into the XL8 Summer program, the TLC staff opened their arms to me and gave me a huge opportunity to succeed at PCC. With the help of tutors, I was able to pass my math and English classes.

Photo of Guadalupe Sanchez

Guadalupe Sanchez

Guadalupe is the first .XL student in the history of the program to participate in a study abroad program in her first-year. Guadalupe was one of 15 students who studied in Guadalajara, Mexico in Winter 2010. She returned to PCC with new friends, fond memories, and the energy to tackle her spring classes.

The friendly staff at the TLC have been my mentors. They are there to help me out when I am struggling in my classes but also when I just need a quite place to study.


Photo of Thomas Carter

Thomas Carter

Thomas's strong interest in both the sciences and humanities naturally attracted him to the TLC's Sustainability Studies Program, which links English and biology. In spite of his busy schedule, Thomas found the time to tutor and mentor first-year students in the Ujima Program, volunteer for the TLC's Conexión Program, and serve on the Associated Students' lobby committee. A Spring 2008 recipient of the TLC's Scholar Award, Thomas has set his sights on a medical degree and will enter USC in the fall.

The faculty and staff of the Teaching and Learning Center have supported my interest and passion for cross-discipline studies in the academic fields of humanities and science. Everyone has made me feel welcome in this nurturing but competitive environment. My goal is to give back to the TLC, especially MaS and MESA. Thanks for helping me move forward!

Photo of Emerzon Cruz

Emerzon Cruz

Emerzon entered the TLC in 2004 as an .XL3 student and has since shined in all he has done. He joined MESA to further his mathematical skills and serves as a Math Jam tutor. Emerzon's major is engineering, and he plans to transfer to a UC school in 2008.

.XL3, MESA, and Math Jam have allowed me to blossom academically.

Photo of Rebeca Jaramillo

Rebeca Jaramillo

Rebeca came to PCC in 2005 and the TLC in 2006 after spending 20 years working and raising a family. She is the first in her family to attend college and is proud to serve as a role model to her children, who have encouraged her to pursue her academic and professional goals. She took full advantage of PCC and TLC resources, attending counseling meeting and workshops, regularly meeting with a tutor, and being a member of the Alpha Sigma Gamma Honor Society. In Fall 2008 Rebeca will attend Cal State LA, and her goal is to become a Child Development Specialist.

Whenever I have been exhausted, confused, or hungry, I close my eyes and visualize all the people who have believed in me, helped me, and encouraged me. Of course, my friends in the TLC are there whenever I need them. The TLC has been the best resource and a friendly refuge during my most difficult days as a student.


Photo of Elia Cabuto

Elia Cabuto

Elia is a dedicated TLC student who has a yearning to help others. She volunteered as a tutor for the Conexión program and in fall 2007 will transfer to Mount St. Mary's with a major in nursing, another path towards helping others.

Through the TLC I have been in contact with amazing people who have helped me with the obstacles I have encountered. As a tutor/mentor I have learned that I am not only helping others learn, but I am also learning with them. There is a great difference between a TLC class and a regular class offered at PCC, namely the teachers who are more willing to go out of their way to help their students.

Photo of Jose Alfredo Gonzalez

Jose Alfredo Gonzalez

Jose, a PCC Puente student, joined the MaS program because of his interest in math and science. He soon started working as a tutor for the Summer Math Jam Program and has won numerous awards, including a Spring 2008 TLC Scholars Award. Jose's patience and tutoring skills have helped many befuddled math students. He's headed for UCLA in September 2008, and no surprise, he plans to major in mathematics.

Thank you for the scholarship and helping me get the summer internship at USC to research earthquakes. And thank you for giving me a job as a Summer Math Jam tutor. I would not have been able to transfer to UCLA and pursue a teaching credential without the support of the TLC community!

Photo of Loreina Gonzalez

Loreina Gonzalez

Loreina was one of the most ambitious .XL 2 students. However, because she was an international student, she struggled more than the average student. Nevertheless, she still carried heavy study loads during her stay here at PCC. In 2006 Loreina started attending New York University, demonstrating that TLC students are capable of overcoming any obstacles that are presented to them.

My experience with the TLC's .XL2 program was one of the best experiences in my life!

Photo of Maria Limon

Maria Limon

Maria is a student who is not afraid to ask for help. Her willingness to seek assistance and help others has enabled her to become a valued member of the TLC. She has been accepted into San Diego State University for fall 2007.

Being at the TLC has been fun and worthwhile. I met some of my best friends there. The lab was a great help because sometimes my computer from home was not working and the computers in the TLC saved my life. And free printing -- I love that! The best thing about the TLC is it's location in the center of campus; it's so easy to get to.

Photo of Ben Minikwu

Ben Minikwu

Ben Minikwu, an .XL4 student from Nigeria, thrived in the TLC, tutors math in the Conexion program, and just won a couple of PCC scholarships. He is now studying architecture and plans to transfer to a university architecture program in 2008.

As a young boy I was never interested in math but since studying in the .XL program, my confidence and interest have increased. I now get A's in higher-level math courses and tutor in the TLC. I deeply appreciate everything the TLC staff has done for me!

Photo of Cesar Palma

Cesar Palma

Cesar, shown here with MESA director Juan Carlos Morales, was an awesome MESA student and math and science tutor for two years. In 2006 he received a scholarship to study physics at the University of Michigan.

PCC's MESA program is the best! I made great friends and was able to help a few who were struggling in math. I learned a lot and discovered resources that helped me get to U of M. I couldn't have done it without Juan Carlos's help.


Photo of Javier Carbajal-Ramos

Javier Carbajal-Ramos

After three years of being here at PCC, Javi has realized that college would have been much harder for him if it had not been for the massive amount of help that he received from all of the services provided by TLC. Javi came here as a pre-college-level student in math and English and is now tutoring new under-prepared students in both areas.

Thanks to the TLC staff for all of the support that you and your staff have given me during my struggles here at PCC!

Photo of Nina Cousins

Nina Cousins

Ever since she joined .XL's fourth cohort, Nina has been working hard to reach her goal - to transfer to UC Irvine and major in forensic pathologist. In addition to her classes, Nina tutors for Conexion and works in the MESA center. Everyone she meets appreciates her positive attitude and great big smile.

.XL has taken me in and guided me in the right direction. TLC has given me a comfortable and quiet place to study. MESA has given me the resources, drive, and knowledge and told me I deserve it. All combined, they have handed me the tools I need to succeed.

Photo of Kim De La Peza

Kim De La Peza

Kim worked relentlessly at everything she did while at PCC. She joined numerous groups, including MESA and Conexión, and received several scholarships and awards. Kim transferred in 2006 to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and is now studying to become a veterinarian.

Thank you for all your help in achieving the All-California and All-USA scholarship. I could not have achieved all that I have without the assistance of the TLC program and its staff members. As a TLC student, I have discovered that college is much more than an educational commitment. For me, it has become a life life-encompassing experience.

Photo of Maggie R. Torres

Maggie R. Torres

Maggie joined .XL4 in 2005 and has demonstrated over and over her willingness to work hard, persevere, and learn. She has struggled at times but has never given up - she will transfer to Cal State next year.

The entire TLC staff is dedicated to students. Thanks to this program I met a lot of new people, made new friends, and learned to be confident in school.


Photo of Carlos "Tito" Altamirano

Carlos “Tito” Altamirano

Tito graduated from the University of Southern California in 2006 with a B.A. in history, and will be working on his Master's in history in the near future. Tito has continually been part of the TLC volunteering as a Conexión tutor/mentor and is working as a recruiter and instructional aide for the .XL summer bridge/first-year experience program.

I just want to thank the TLC staff for your endless support. Just know that whether or not we are your students, all of us in the TLC are grateful for all you have done for us. I can proudly say that I am the fruit of your labor, and you too should be proud. Again, thank you.

Photo of Abran Esparza

Abran Esparza

Abran was a member of the first group of .XL students and has since struggled to achieve his goals. Although Abran saw that his road to success would be difficult, he took great advantage of the TLC to achieve his goals. Abran successfully completed all his required courses and in fall 2007 will be a student at Cal State Los Angeles with a major in psychology.

I call the TLC “the 180” because when I was confused or in need, the TLC was there to help. They helped me turn around and find the right way out.

Photo of Adriana Garcia

Adriana Garcia

Adriana excelled as a member of .XL2 by showing leadership, ambition to succeed, and generosity. She volunteered for 2 years as a Conexión and MESA tutor/mentor and then transferred to UC Santa Barbara in 2006, where she is majoring in mathematics.

.XL opened a lot of doors for me. Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way! I did!

Photo of Joe Sandoval

Joe Sandoval

Joe Sandoval (on the left with fellow tutor Ben Minkwu) was a member of PCC's first .XL cohort of students. He is a junior at Cal State University Northridge, where he is majoring in sociology and Chicano Studies. He shows his commitment to the TLC by tutoring math in the Conexion program.

I want to thank you for all your help and support and most importantly your friendship. I feel fortunate meeting all of you in the TLC and being apart of the .XL program. I encourage anyone I come across that will being going to PCC to join a TLC program - they'll meet great people there and receive the help they need to succeed.