I decided to create a transferring club at Merritt College with the intention to support minority students who wanted to look beyond themselves, beyond their degrees, beyond their specific careers; students who were willing make an ethical commitment to their community, and as they graduated from their carriers, they could come back and support those in need. I am a product of Peralta Community Colleges.
I attended Laney and Merritt College; later, I did my BA at UC Berkeley and my graduate studies at Stanford University. I want to help students who are willing to take the extra time, who are prepared to look at their weaknesses and try to overcome them and commit themselves to a journey of knowledge and possibilities. I am particularly interested in helping students whose parents were not able to attend College, as I feel that these students are in a greater disadvantage.
A college education is not only about taking the necessary courses, it has a “sociological an anthropological learning curve component. ” It is at that intersection I want to mentor the students at Altazor, transferring to them as much experience as I have accumulated, from error and assertion, giving them keys so they can open as many doors in the house of knowledge.
The philosopher of education Paulo Freire, in his book Pedagogy of Freedom summarized what I attempt at Merritt and specifically with my students at Altazor. “This is the road I have tried to follow as a teacher: living my convictions; being open to the process of knowing and sensitive to the experience of teaching as an art; being pushed forward by the challenges that prevent me form bureaucratizing my practice; accepting my limitations, yet always conscious of the necessary effort to overcome them and aware that I cannot hide them because to do so would be a failure to respect both my students and myself as a teacher.”
Claudio E. Duran
Professor of: History/Mexican and Latin American Studies