Rancho Santiago Community College District trustee Lawrence Labrado with his family and district colleagues.
(Courtesy of Rancho Santiago Community College District)

Family, friends and colleagues of Rancho Santiago Community College District board trustee Lawrence “Larry” R. Labrado gathered on Nov. 14 to celebrate his accomplished career and share fond memories at a retirement reception for the longtime education advocate.

Labrado was elected to represent the district’s Area 4 in 1994 and went on to become a member of the board facilities and board policy committees during his last years in office. He was lauded by his fellow trustees for leading with a student-centered approach and dedicating his work to the education of Latino youth in the community.

Board president Tina Arias Miller recalled the many roles Labrado held throughout his career, followed by statements from local political leaders, including state Senator Tom Umberg as well as representatives from the offices of Congressman Lou Correa and Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan.

Administrative officials from Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College created and presented the Larry Labrado Legacy Leadership Scholarship in his honor.

Prior to serving at Rancho Santiago for 28 years, Labrado acted as outreach director at his alma mater, California State University, Fullerton. He has held leadership positions at the American GI Forum, the Leadership Advisory Committee for the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, the LULAC Education Foundation and the Friendly Center, Inc. He was inducted into the Educational Opportunity Program Hall of Fame at Cal State Fullerton in 2008 for his contributions to student achievement.

Labrado’s family closed the ceremony by expressing their gratitude for his mentorship and guidance.

“Throughout his career, he has tirelessly advocated for all to have access and an opportunity to advance their education,” Larry Labrado, Jr. said. “Be it pursuing a degree or learning a skilled trade, he simply wants better for his community.”

The Rancho Santiago Community College District serves a population of about 45,000 students at Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College.