1996 Inductee - Tony Sedillo


1996 Inductee - Tony Sedillo

Education/Community Involvement

Thanks to people like Tony Sedillo, our schools are not only integrated, but many colleges recruit and sponsor minority enrollment. Tony started his education in a segregated school and now works to make Delta College inviting for minorities. He runs Delta’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). He also developed a campus wide tutorial program that has helped many students. “Each Division on campus has its own tutorial program, just like the rich have, only this one is free,” Tony explains.

A recent addition to Delta’s student services has been the Summer Readiness Program. “I’m very proud of this. It gives minority and low-income students a head start in college. Last year it was named by the U.S. Labor Department as the best program of its kind in the United States, “he says with pride.

Tony also conducts financial aid workshops in the community and at Delta to advise High School and college students about how to apply for aid to attend college. He has been at San Joaquin Delta College since 1969, but his involvement in higher education goes beyond that year. “In San Jose, where I grew up, I was one of the people who started one of the first college programs for disadvantage students. Later when I attended U.C. Berkeley I was a leader in the grape and lettuce boycotts on campus.” He reminisces. “I remember Chancellor Haines meeting with us in an elevator to negotiate the removal of non-union lettuce from the university; he was afraid his office might be bugged.”

How did Tony get from Berkeley to Stockton? “In the summer of 1968 I was working for the Chancellor as a recruiter in the Valley. I stopped at Delta and in the process of recruiting students to Berkeley, they recruited me to help set up an EOP program for disadvantaged students. I was later hired to run the program” He was also able to hire some important people, “I hired Dan Flores and I was on the committee that hired Al Ortiz.”

But he was still taking chances. “I did something that nearly cost me my job. I joined a student sit-in at the University of the Pacific to protest the lack of minority students on campus. We demanded 500 scholarships for low-income minority students. Dr. Burns gave us 200; it is called the Community Involvement Program (CIP).” CIP is still recruiting minorities and helping them to graduate.

Tony’s impact has gone beyond the campus. Tony developed and hosted the first Spanish language television program in northern California, La Voz de la Raza. Tony has also served on the Board of Directors for the Council for the Spanish Speaking, the YMCA, Catholic Charities, and the California Teachers Association. While we should be thanking him, he is thanks us; “I can only say that Stockton has been good to me. I wish I could do even more for my community.”