The Nevada System of Higher Education regent representing District 10 visited Western Nevada College on April 12 and openly told students about the life-changing moment as a 17-year-old that redirected his life.
As a Bishop Manogue Catholic High School senior-to-be, Arrascada was set on a career in the military, but the ramifications of diving into shallow water at Lake Tahoe that summer resulted in quadriplegia and a lifetime of using a wheelchair. He told his young audience in the WNC’s Student Center that, through the love and support of his family, sitting around and letting life pass him by was not an option.
“At the conclusion of high school my direction was still unclear,” Arrascada said. “But with the encouragement of my family and the patience of loving parents, my pursuit of a higher education began its liftoff.”
So, following five months of rehabilitation, Arrascada ultimately switched career paths out of high school and enrolled at Truckee Meadows Community College. After acquiring the confidence higher education was attainable, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Nevada, Reno and later a master’s degree in Social Work. Following 23 years of providing social services, Arrascada is committing the remainder of his elected term to the Board of Regents.
In speaking with WNC students, he emphasized the importance of using their voice and communication skills to make a difference in their adult lives.
Arrascada was elected in November of 2020 and has been spending the early part of his regency learning about NSHE, its institutions and the network of people who make up higher education in Nevada.
During his visit, Arrascada also toured the William N. Pennington Foundation Biology and Biophysical Science Laboratories, the Automation & Industrial Technology Center and the Diversity Center. Arrascada also met with WNC’s leadership team, the Associated Students of Western Nevada and made time to talk to the college’s youngest students — the enthusiastic children at the Children Development Center.
Arrascada is a member of NSHE’s Academic, Research and Student Affairs Committee; Audit, Compliance and Title IX Committee; Investment Committee; and Security Committee.
“It is my goal to maintain the positive direction of the Nevada System of Higher Education by communicating with the 106,000 students utilizing the system in our great state, as well as providing an additional voice to assist with the state’s community colleges to increase funding corresponding with student enrollment,” Arrascada said.