Area students appointed to service academies

The results are in, and Ventura County has put forth the most student nominees to attend U.S. service academies in the history of the program in the region. 

Congresswoman Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, has appointed 10 student nominees from the 26th Congressional District to attend the four prestigious military service academies, which only accept students via nomination. 

To the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, goes Rebekah Kaiser of Saint Bonaventure High School, where she was valedictorian; to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York, Matthew Tong of ACE Charter School in Camarillo and CSU, Channel Islands, Tyler Reihs of Moorpark High School and Reno Dubreuil of Westlake High School; to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, go Jedd Lebrilla of Adolfo Camarillo High School, D.J. Bautista of Moorpark High School, Swathi Samuel of Newbury Park High School and Olivia Gillingham of Grace Brethren High School; and to the U.S. Military Academy, also known as West Point, in West Point, New York, go Morgan Shorts of Oak Park High School and Chloe Diestel of Newbury Park High School.

The students vary in respect to talents and skills, some gaining recognition for scholarly achievements and others through athletics. Students compile packets, including résumés, school records, letters of recommendation and more, for judging by a panel of local former service academy graduates. This year, over 50 students applied.

There is no cost to attend the universities but there is a service requirement post-graduation. 

College District launches diversity dashboard

The Ventura County Community College District’s Equal Employment Opportunity committee and Human Resources Department have launched an app that compares current employee demographics to historic data, allowing the public to see the district’s progress toward increased diversity.

The app stores data over a period of four years, exceeding California’s reporting requirements. The District says that the app demonstrates the District’s compliance with the California Code of Regulations’ language that requires “the presence and respectful treatment of individuals from a wide range of ethnic, racial, age, national origin, religious, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, disability and socio-economic backgrounds.”

The Diversity Dashboard was presented to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, June 14.

“The Board believes the work environment should be representative of the communities in which we live and work and the student population that we serve and look forward to continued progress towards that effort,” said VCCCD Board of Trustees member Arturo Hernández.

The Diversity Dashboard is open to the public and can be found by visiting

— Chris O’Neal