Overturning a decision which prohibits support for gold medal winning students

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I’m Ruby Corona and I am currently attending Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC). I have been participating in a competition called Skills USA in the Culinary Arts division since October of 2017 with the intention of advancing to the national competition. I recently won the gold medal in the state competition and I am advancing to the national competition. After the winners were announced at the closing ceremony, I was informed that students and faculty of Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) were not allowed to go to nationals due to California Law AB 1887, which prohibits California state-funded and state-sponsored travel to states that have implemented laws that authorize or allow discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, same-sex relationship, or same sex marriage. The LACCD is exempt from this law; however, they have chosen to stand with the legislation. The national competition will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, which is on the list of banned states for travel.

Currently, there are 12 students from my college who qualify to advance to the national conference but may not get to attend because of the stance the board of directors and college president have chosen. I want to try to have the board change their stance or fund the travel ourselves and not be able to represent LATTC. I’m bringing attention to this so that I can have this decision—prioritizing politics over education—overturned. I went into the competition with a goal and I want to see it to the end.

My goal is to organize my fellow students who have won gold medals and help future students who might also find themselves in the same predicament so that we can overturn the decision. I want to bring enough attention to this situation and make the change I desperately hope for so that no other student will have to face this injustice.

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