Â

Five women were honored at the house of California Senator Caral Lui as "Women of theYear."  Two women of PCC, Esther Takei Nishio and Theresa Reed, were given honors.


Â

Five women were honored at the house of California Senator Caral Lui as “Women of the Year.”  Two women of PCC, Esther Takei Nishio and Theresa Reed, were given honors.

 “I want to congratulate these women of our community, you all are very well deserved recipients,” said Senator Carol Lui. As the Senator touched on each of the woman’s successes, she individually handed them their diploma.

Sen. Lui’s advocacy for education motivates her to find dedicated individuals and recognize them for their striving efforts.

Nishio, an alumnus of what was known as the Pasadena Junior College was the institution’s first “test case,” an experiment to see how it would react to a Nisei (Japanese-American) student just after WWII had ended in 1945. Nishio previously had been a dental assistant and a column writer in a Japanese internment camp in Colorado.

“The idea was to have Esther enrolled at the college to test the reaction to its first Japanese student after the war,” said Sen. Lui.  

Nishio went on to mention how wonderful the students were, as well as the faculty, but the problem was the residents of Pasadena.

Â

It was the student body, and the soldiers, who Nishio says were there, right behind her every step of the way. “No matter what adversity you may have, they are people in this world who will come to your side and try to help you,” said Nishio.

Former PCC President Lisa Sugimoto recalled back in 2010 when the college and herself had given Nishio along with several others, an Honoree Degree, part of Nisei Diploma Program. Sugimoto stated, “We wanted to make sure she got her honoree degree, because she had been a test case”

Â

Theresa Reed currently Program Director of Foster & Kinship Care Education and Independent Living Programs at PCC, dedicates her life to helping the very same individuals who had been in her shoes as an adolescent, fostered youth. “Theresa Reed is an inspiration, overcoming lots of barriers, lots of challenges,” said the Senator.

Â

Dir. Reed and the department program have made it easier for foster youth to have better access to the community college and successfully use it.

Â

When asked after the ceremony what motivates her to do what she does every day, Dir. Reed replied, “It’s knowing that a lot of our young people have potential…and being able to show them that they have options.”

Â

Dir. Reed’s advice to any one, was to find somebody to talk to, set a plan, “your plan your goal”, and write it down. “It’ll give you something to come back to later and say wow; I checked that off my to-do list.”  

Â

“Theresa Reed’s wonderful, when [Reed] came to work with our foster youth, I got to work with her directly, and her passion and her heart for young people is just amazing,” said former Pres. Sugimoto.

As everyone made for home, the five honored women took a photo with the senator on the front porches steps, Nishio and Reed had stepped up big for PCC that night, a night they wouldn’t forget.

Â

Â

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.