The person behind the position: a deeper look at DASB presidential candidates5 min read

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As De Anza Student Body elections progress, students are looking for a candidate they can trust as president. Beyond the positions they are running on, here is a glimpse of who they are.

Anahí Ruvalcaba

Anahí Ruvalcaba

Anahí Ruvalcaba, 19, political science major, was born in Salinas, California, surrounded by gang violence in the low-income Monterey area. In fifth grade, her mother decided to move to Sunnyvale to give her daughter a better chance at success, which Ruvalcaba sees as a defining moment in her life.
“I think that moving from a low-income community to the Silicon Valley has helped me with my communication skills,” Ruvalcaba said. “I’m able to get along with most people because I understand both spectrums.”
She got her start in leadership through the YMCA Youth and Government court program, where her work on a mock trial was awarded best defense attorney of 2019 out of thousands of California students. This led her into interning for California lawmaker Alex Lee’s campaign, working at De Anza College’s public policy office and joining Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign.
“It was a moment where you feel you can accomplish something. And I think being Latina (and) a woman, you always feel like ‘Oh my God, I don’t think I can do that,’” Ruvalcaba said. “And so I just finally felt like ‘damn, I could do this.’”
Other than politics, Ruvalcaba likes old school rap from N.W.A, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, reading romantic novels, bike riding, writing poetry, eating cookies from the mall and collecting Squishmallows. But most of all, she said she wants people to know that she is just like any other student.
“I’m an empathetic, caring person. I love talking to people and making friends,” Ruvalcaba said. “I feel like I fit in with different communities, based on my experiences. I just want to let people know that I’m one of them.”

Khoa-Nathan Ngo

Khoa-Nathan Ngo

Khoa-Nathan Ngo, 18, environmental science major, has blocked out most of his time living in Arizona during childhood as a bisexual Vietnamese American with ADHD. He experienced a culture shock when he moved back to the Bay Area, seeing a pride flag on his eighth grade teacher’s desk.
“I literally just couldn’t stop staring at it for weeks. Even when I asked her, I was shaking, asking my teacher ‘What is that?’” Ngo said. “It’s always left a very big impression on me and a really big love for the Bay Area and community.”
Ngo got interested in social justice and political theory when he met his first Asian American friends in the Bay Area. He then enrolled in De Anza his junior year of high school, where he was exposed to the idea of being able to make a difference.
“When you’re a high schooler, there is a reminder that we can’t do much,” Ngo said. “So De Anza was my first exposure to seeing people who are not only oppressed, but are able to actively work, change, mobilize and coordinate with each other to fight against it. Seeing that was amazing to me.”
Ngo also loves to binge shows on Netflix, waiting for the new “Attack on Titan” season to end, reading fantasy books, and hangouts at the mall with friends. But most of all, Ngo said he loves to help others.
“I just want to return to a sense of normalcy again, but also not to be so invested in feeling okay that we forget the issues that have always persisted,” Ngo said.“Beyond Nathan the candidate, I am a proud Vietnamese American, closeted anime fan, previously closeted bisexual, and just someone that wants to help.”

Eduardo Ovelar Blanco

Eduardo Ovelar Blanco

Ever since he was born, Eduardo Ovelar Blanco, 26, computer science major, has been traveling the world. Starting from his home country of Paraguay, he has traveled by moving and working at an airline in the Middle East to Brazil, Mexico, France, China, Japan and New Zealand, to name a few.
“I was raised in different places around the world, and I’ve sort of been able to capture pieces of different cultures and incorporate them into my own,” Ovelar Blanco said. “This leads me to having a broader view of the world and also a more tolerant, understanding towards different people with different perspectives.”
Ovelar Blanco said life has not been easy for him, which led him to return to the U.S., spurred on by his “childhood affinity towards an education (here).”
Throughout his life, Ovelar Blanco has led others, handling personnel in his home country and being the first in his family to get a college education.
“In my professional career, I’ve been able to lead people in decisions, and I learned that my particular way of leading is by example,” Ovelar Blanco said. “And that’s where I found out that my way of performing was being part of the team and carrying my load as well.”
Ovelar Blanco is fond of nature, travel, exercise, talking with people, and is currently working on two different startups. Most importantly to Ovelar Blanco, he wishes to be able to see people in person again.
“I am looking forward to the day I can see people in person, and talk and interact with them,” Ovelar Blanco said. “If I am not chosen, I like to wish the president a very successful term, and to listen to the students and get things done.”
The election closes on March 5 and you can vote here.

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