For Peter Ligutan, Choosing CCC was the Right Decision

Like many CCC students, Peter Ligutan chose community college because of the cost.

“I was enrolled in university, but I realized that it wasn’t practical,” explains Peter, “and that going to a community college was much more cost efficient. So I withdrew and enrolled at CCC.”

At first, Peter wasn’t all that excited to start the semester.

“I honestly didn’t really research community colleges before I enrolled. CCC was nearby,” Peter admits. “At the beginning of the school year, I had a meeting with Kelley Cadungug in the Counseling Department. He really changed my view of CCC and helped set me up to have a great experience.”

Peter is working on his general education and lower division courses in order to transfer to a four-year university.

“My goal is to get a bachelor’s degree in public health,” says Peter. “What interests me in public health is its focus on prevention, and how people can use intervention before they need to even go to the doctor. In this way, we get to the root of the problem.”

Another thing that drew him to public health was his interest in advocacy.

“Both of my parents are deaf. Growing up, I had to work as an interpreter for them – I was how they communicated with everyone,” Peter shares. “Watching my parents navigate the world and witnessing how people treated them got me interested in how discrimination affects health.”

One of Peter’s passions is mentorship. He has worked in various capacities for the Richmond Promise, a non-profit that mentors underserved kids in Richmond through high school, college, and into a career. Peter is also the president of Compass Segue, a student club that acclimates new students at CCC to its academic and social settings.

“With the Richmond Promise, I taught financial aid workshops at De Anza High School and helped transitioning students at CCC understand what credits they would need, how to navigate financial aid, and what was expected of them. I wanted to be a part of Richmond Promise because they help students who don’t have the resources to attend college.”

In 2019, Peter was awarded the D.G. Meremeyer Memorial Scholarship and the Sy & Beverly Zell Scholarship, and in 2020 the Bernard Osher, Dr. Paul and Carolyn Gan Family Scholarship, and the Office of Financial Assistance Scholarship from the CCC Foundation.

“Thanks to the Foundation’s scholarships, I can focus on my classes and save up for when I transfer to a four-year school. Having financial stability makes such a difference for us students, and I thank the donors who make these scholarships possible,” Peter says.

The help that Peter has received and the help that he has given has shaped Peter in ways that he never expected.

“I’m really proud of the work I’ve done at CCC,” shares Peter. “I’ve helped a lot of struggling students. It’s so inspiring seeing the help I give them improve their success.

“Some people think that community college is going to be easy, but it’s not – it’s a challenge and a big step into something completely new. But don’t doubt your decision. Picking CCC was the right decision for me.”