Berlinda Brown was born in Costa Rica, Central America. She understands the value of education and how it can change and improve a person's life. When she left Costa Rica for a better life in the United States, she left behind her life of poverty. Berlinda arrived in Pasadena to live with two of her thirteen siblings. She joined a Brother and a sister who had already set the pattern of seeking greener pastures.
She arrived in California speaking no English after passing Costa Rica's high school exit examination. With no possibility of a decent future, except to continue cleaning houses of the wealthy as she had done as a student in the country of her birth, she developed her plan and found herself immediately seeking an education, beginning with classes to learn English. She worked in convalescent hospitals as a nurses aide. While working there she met her husband, Vernon Brown. The family eventually became owners of a residential care facility in Pasadena.
She says that the most important thing she did was to enroll in the Adult Training Center operated by Pasadena City College on Lake Avenue near Washington. There she learned English and after marriage began to take business courses. She continued her education at a local Business College where she took medical reception courses. The Medical reception classes led her to a job in a Radiology office. She eventually returned to Pasadena City College where she developed her skills prerequisite to becoming a Radiology Technician. Brown continued her education at Cal State University Dominguez Hills where she earned a Bachelors and a Masters. She worked at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center as a health care professional and supervisor, since 1981. She is proud of the fact that during her term at LAUSC Medical Center she assisted in getting accreditation for the Mammography Department.
Brown is committed to helping others gain the opportunities that Pasadena City College provided for her and recently retired from her work to devote full time to that effort.
When asked about what she hopes to accomplish as a member of the Pasadena City College Trustee she says her focus will be to assist with development of programs to: (1) to turn around the drop-out rate at PCC, especially for Black and Latino students; (2) Improve in the outreach program of local students for Pasadena City College; (3) Give greater attention to programs for adult students who are returning to college; (4) Improve the relationship between local high schools in providing educational opportunities while they are completing their high school studies. This can be done either through internships or by gaining college credits while in high school. And, (5) Improve the outreach for the valuable Vocational Educational opportunities at PCC.
Many people believe that Pasadena City College has become a haven for students who don't live in the Pasadena area. Many of these' students come to take advantage of the educational benefits of PCC while displacing Pasadenans who want to attend. Pasadenans believe that they support the college and should enjoy the educational opportunities it provides. Instead, they often find the seats in the classes they need filled with students from outside the area who will take their skills to other communities with no benefit to Pasadena. Brown believes that she is uniquely qualified to serve on the Board of Trustees because of her experience in getting an education, in part at PCC, her educational rags to riches story, her bilingual, bicultural, and poor beginnings.
Berlinda Brown believes she can improve on what has been going on at PCC and become more diverse in who it serves. Brown is running for Seat 3.