Unapologetic and Unafraid

Lorena Corona putting out fresh food for students next to the Center for Cultural and Social Justice. All photos by Daniela Fabian.

Lorena Corona putting out fresh food for students next to the Center for Cultural and Social Justice. All photos by Daniela Fabian.

Lorena Corona has had many inspiring accomplishments throughout her career and life. Beginning with her life story, she has accomplished major goals that are extraordinary to many people , and ending with her insatiable hunger for assisting people and connecting them to the resources they are looking for. Corona is a Chaffey College alumna that had struggles throughout her years as a Chaffey College student and graduated from Harvard University, and she’s not done yet.

Corona recalls how her grandmother taught her the values she now thrives with when she was a little girl. Her grandmother grew up in extreme poverty in Mexico, and by the time she became an adult she was taking care of the most vulnerable parts of the community by providing people in need with food and other resources..

“Much is expected Lorena, from who much is given. A lot is going to be expected from you, because we are giving you the power of knowledge,” Corona's grandmother would tell her when she was younger.

“I remember that one day she was making chicken soup. She got a huge pot full of water and got a very small chicken and started cutting it up into very small pieces…," Corona remembers how her grandmother taught her the values she lives by now. "She then turned around to her grandkids, me included, and said, ‘In this house the elderly and sick eat first.’ I turned to her and told her that there were no elderly or sick in the house, and she turned to me and said, ‘Not here there are none, but in this town there are.'”

Corona then recalls that after everyone finished giving food to all the people in need, her grandmother asked her to take a special plate to someone.

“I got the last cup of soup and the tortillas and I started walking to tia Maria’s," Corona remembers her emotions after taking the food to the woman. "When I got to tia Maria’s she started screaming Lupe (being her grandmother). You’re late Lupe! I got scared and she said ‘Oh you’re not Lupe’ and I shook my head. She then told me ‘Do not nod your head, I’m blind.’ As soon as she said that I started crying. She then told me that she was blind and she needed help and my grandmother always helped her. As soon as I got home I started crying and my grandmother got me a cup of soup and I told her what had happened.”

Corona says that she learned a valuable life-long lesson, and through that she learned how to be grateful and how to take care of people.

Jumping into her college years, there was a lack of resources at Chaffey College when Corona attended, which made it difficult for her to attended college. Corona was an ESL (English Second Language) student and a single mother living off of welfare. She sometimes didn’t have money to pay for her bus ride, and had to dig through her pockets in search of a penny to pay for a bus ticket to college. Corona feels like there have been major improvements in resources at Chaffey College that weren’t met when she was a student.

Looking back at the difficult times she went through as a student, she is now grateful for the assistance from everyone that, like her, enjoy helping other students that have a hard time dealing with the many obstacles of life and higher education.

“It has been very challenging, but we have the blessings of having a superintendent that is facilitating the change and the services to meet the need of the students,” says Corona about the improvements of resources at Chaffey College.

Corona, along with Chaffey College, believes that there is an equity gap, and everyone can’t be treated equally, because not every student has the same needs.

Corona is also thankful that there are many students at Chaffey College who are compelled to assist other students in need. She adds that she enjoys helping students who both want to help their peers, and students looking for more information about resources.

Corona ran for the Fontana mayoral seat, and although she came out in 3rd place, she will continue running until she gets elected because she's driven by seeing a community in need.

The DREAMers and undocumented community is one of the largest groups at Chaffey College. Corona is a proud child of immigrant parents, and feels the fear that this community is living under right now. She knows that this community has a need for resources, and understands that some members of that community have a fear of discrimination.

Although Corona never experienced racism, discrimination or prejudice when she was younger, when she came back to the country she was born in she felt all the things she never experienced when she was younger.

Corona has a need to help that community because she is part of it. She understands the fear many members of this community have, and is open to any questions they might have, including off-campus related issues.

“Unapologetic and unafraid, I walk my walk and talk my talk,” says Corona.

Although Corona is completely open to helping the DREAMers and undocumented community of Chaffey College, there are also other people who are constantly showing their support for this community. Corona suggest students to take advantage of resources on campus and other faculty to be successful.

Jasmine Bravo, the ambassador of the DREAMers community is another faculty that provides help to students on campus. With her knowledge and first hand experience, is able to provide the DREAMers and undocumented community at Chaffey College with a safe environment that other faculty members can’t provide.

Neil Watkins an english professor at Chaffey College is another faculty who constantly advocates his alliance with students that are undocumented by creating a safe space for them. He recently hosted an event titled “Ally of Advocacy” which discussed the many ways students and faculty can create a safe space for students attending Chaffey College.

Corona’s insatiable hunger for helping the community began at a very young age. Her life story is an example that we can do anything if we put mind to it. Being a single mother and an english as a second language student at Chaffey College she had an outcome of graduating from Harvard University. She can be found everywhere on campus providing help to the students of Chaffey College.

Lorena Corona knows the need there is in the community of Chaffey College and knows that there are more improvements there has to be done.

“I see the needs of the people and the needs and the urgency for change of our community inspires me to do more,” says Corona.