SBVC Employee Uses Classic Car to Promote Enrollment on Campus

Amelia Gonzeles made sure to represent San Bernardino Valley College while driving her 1952 Chevy truck in the Highland 4th of July parade. This was the second time that Gonzales, a secretary with the Criminal Justice Department and Middle College High School, and her family drove in the parade. This wasn't their first time getting involved in the community, though — they've participated in nonprofit car shows to raise money for juvenile diabetes, cancer, and autism.  
Before the 4th, Gonzales had an idea: why not promote San Bernardino Valley College during the parade? During a workshop about dealing with difficult students, she learned that many Inland Empire students drive to Orange County for community college classes, and "I was very surprised," she said. "All I could think about was how to promote SBVC and bring awareness to our community." She requested a banner to display on the side of her truck, and it was a hit. "I had a very positive reaction from the crowd," Gonzales said. "As I drove by, people were shouting, 'Yay, Valley!' I heard someone say, 'I love Valley.' Several people took pictures. It was very exciting."  
It was Gonzales' first time driving her truck, one of 10 classic vehicles owned by her immediate family. She married into a family of car enthusiasts, and while it's "an expensive hobby," with "time and patience the restoration of a vehicle can be well worth it." It took Gonzales and her husband, Lenny, 16 years to get the Chevy truck restored to its original specifications, and while they have won several awards at different nonprofit car shows, "the most satisfaction comes from being there to support a common good."  
Gonzales said she comes from a "Wolverine family," and SBVC has "been a stepping stone for our future." She also "loves" working at Valley, and said it "feels good knowing that I was involved in something that benefits our community." The 4th of July Parade won't be the last time she displays an SBVC banner on her truck — she's already looking ahead to the Veterans Day Parade in November.   

"It's important to me to have the in-person contact with our community," she said. "I believe making a difference in our community starts individually."