Georgia Gwinnett College’s fall commencement speaker will be 2011 alumnus Homero Gonzalez, a two-time Emmy winner. (Special Photo)
Georgia Gwinnett College’s commencement speakers have included a United Nations Ambassador, a United States senator and the governor of Georgia. Next month, the Grizzlies will hear words of wisdom and encouragement from a two-time Emmy winner.
And it just happens to be someone who has worn the GGC mortarboard.
Homero Gonzalez, 24, a 2011 graduate of the Lawrenceville college, will be the fall commencement speaker at the event on Dec. 19, school officials announced on Monday. Gonzalez has won two Emmy awards from the Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
His first Emmy was part of a team of three news producers and editors who produced the special news series, Serie Especial HB-87, which was a guide for the local Hispanic community about new anti-immigration legislation passed in Georgia in 2011.
The second Emmy was for his contributions to Serie Especial: Acción Diferida under the team coverage category. Serie Especial: Acción Diferida profiled how undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States at a young age would qualify for Deferred Action status.
English is Gonzalez’ second language, and he was the first member of his family to go to college.
Gonzalez worked his way up at Telemundo from being a translator assistant, to a part-time position, to full-time as a senior marketing coordinator.
At GGC, Gonzalez served as president of the Organization of Latin American Students for three years. He also served the college’s Student Government Association as a senator and as vice president, and was involved with Students for Christ, Indian Cultural Exchange and Creative Collective. He attended a summer study abroad program in Europe and participated in service projects, including a reading program for Hispanic children which he developed. He is a charter member of the GGC Alumni Association Board.
“Homero’s story is truly inspirational,” Lois C. Richardson, acting senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and provost said in a press release. “He overcame educational challenges to become a leader both on campus and in the community. Since graduating two years ago, he has continued to excel within his profession, accomplishing what normally takes many years to achieve. We are very proud of this young man, and we look forward to hearing him share his thoughts with this semester’s graduating class.”
Gonzalez said his four years at GGC were filled with great memories, and his graduation meant his parents, who came to the U.S. as immigrants, also achieved a personal goal.
“I tell young people to be active in college,” he said in the release. “Find ways to build your skills and experience, and make yourself known because you never know when an opportunity will lead you to greater things.”
Previous commencement speakers at GGC have been former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson and Governor Nathan Deal.