Student Trustee. Community College Advocate.
Courtney Cooper has worked for community college students on campus and nationwide. As vice president of the Associated Students of Foothill College, she fought for a food bank on campus. Through her work with the Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC), Cooper fought for changes to the Board of Governors fee waiver and other issues to improve student lives.
“I’m putting this work in because if we don’t step up no one else will,” said Cooper. “If I see a gap somewhere, I have a right to step in and ask how I can help.”
Cooper grew up as a foster youth with Santa Clara County. When she aged out of the system, community college was the recommended next step. Because of gaps in her education, Cooper had to re-learn how to be a student and navigate the higher education system. She left her first community college with a GPA of 1.5.
Within a year at Foothill, she was on the dean’s list. With support from the Disability Resource Center, faculty and her fellow students, Cooper thrived. She plans to earn a law degree and eventually run a nonprofit. The work she has done at Foothill is only the beginning.
"I just want to plant the seeds so others can also do some heavy lifting," said Cooper. "If you're waiting for permission to be involved or take on leadership -- this is that moment. The things you give your time to will be better off if you get involved. "