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Ben Pacho

In his time at De Anza, Ben Pacho discovered his passion for activism and social justice.

“I became politicized through my experience of being a first-generation college student,” Pacho said. “It became evident that struggles for socioeconomic betterment are political in nature.”

In his quest to support change on-campus, Pacho has served as the DASB Chair of Student Services and Opinions Editor at La Voz. He interned at the Institute of Community and Civic Engagement and participated in the Public Policy School.

“I was not at all the kind of person to get ‘involved’,” said Pacho. “But after checking stuff out and meeting awesome people, I realized that I was part of a larger community.”

Off-campus, Pacho volunteered at the Billy DeFrank LGBT Center and the Living Wage Campaign to raise San Jose’s minimum wage. The campaign was highly personal for Pacho, as he sometimes struggled to find enough work to put himself through college.

“I was determined to make life easier for working students like myself by advocating for the Living Wage Campaign,” he added.

Pacho is graduating with an associate degree in journalism and the Leadership and Social Change certificate. In the fall, he will study political science at Columbia University in New York City. With his degree and experience, he hopes to one day influence public policy at the state and national level by advocating for educational and environmental issues. Although Pacho is moving across the country, he will always have fond memories of De Anza.

“The 'Inequality for All' film showing this year with the amazing panel discussion brought my affection for this campus to another level,” Pacho said. “It highlighted the extent to which students, faculty and administrators at De Anza are committed to bringing about social change.”

Contact: Vanessa Smith
Phone: 408.864.8948

Last Updated: 12/16/14