John Michael Vincent Coralde: Dreams of Helping His Native Land

coraldespotlight.pngA young man who is using his struggles with poverty in his native country to help his people, has been selected one of the 23 recipients of the California State University Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement. He is a graduate of Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa, CA.

John Michael Vincent P. Coralde, a senior at Sonoma State University majoring in kinesiology with a minor in biology, is among those students who have demonstrated superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need.

As a native Filipino, Coralde felt the struggles of poverty and hunger very deeply and saw education as a path out of his family's destitution. He sold flowers and candy on the dangerous streets of Manila to help support his family. At age 14, he moved, with his brother, to the U.S. But new struggles emerged as he tried to understand the American culture and learn English on his own.

His early struggles fueled an intense drive to move out of poverty and he has chosen to become active in leadership roles on campus to help other students transition to college life. He has served as a guide in programs ranging from Summer Orientation and Summer Bridge to peer advising and community service advisor. Always remembering the pain of hunger, he often takes time to help the hungry and homeless while working three jobs and taking 19 units. He is also on the Deans list.

Coralde plans to earn a Masters in Public Health with an emphasis in epidemiology. He wants to return to the Philippines to help his people.

In his nomination letter, SSU president Ruben Arminana said Coralde is already "a committed leader in education who understands the importance of giving back and inspiring others. He should someday have a great and positive impact on his country's poor and their welfare."

Coralde has also been named an Haworth Family Trust Scholar which will provide him with $4,200 in scholarship money.

Dr. John E. and Maxine Haworth bequeathed an endowment to provide financial aid to students majoring in science, art, humanities, education, pre-medicine, medicine, pre-law, and law.

For details on the other CSU Trustees' Award winners, see

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