- Major: Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Educational Leadership
- Class Of: 2015
“ I realized that I could give back to the campus community by giving my time and energy to the students, encouraging them to graduate and then continue their education ”
At his day job, Reyes Luna is the interim director of University Housing Services, but he has another identity — as a mentor, role model and a guy with an amazing knack for winning prizes at campus raffles.
To be fair, his raffle talents are mostly because he puts a lot of his money into them, knowing it goes toward students in need.
“People always say, ‘Oh no, Reyes is here, he always wins,’ and my philosophy is, you too could be a winner if you buy more tickets,” says Luna. “If you win prizes, great, and if you don’t, the purpose is really about the scholarship.”
For 13 years, Luna organized the opportunity drawings for the Unity Luncheon, a fundraiser dedicated to raising scholarship money for each of the campus affinity groups. He also purchased large volumes of tickets for other scholarship opportunity drawings on campus.
To the fundraising groups, it’s a win-win situation. Luna returns nearly all the prizes he wins so that they can be used again in drawings.
He also supports students in more personal ways as well, helping guide those who live in the residence halls through their formative, and often stressful, first years in college.
“I realized that I could give back to the campus community by giving my time and energy to the students, encouraging them to graduate and then continue their education,” says Luna.
Luna became a Cal Poly Pomona alumnus last summer when he received his doctorate in educational leadership in the university’s first doctoral program. He always told students to finish their degrees and they, in turn, encouraged him to do the same.
“I had to put my money where my mouth is,” he says.
When Luna began working at Cal Poly Pomona 14 years ago, he was not financially stable enough to donate to student scholarships, a cause close to his heart. He says that he would not have completed his undergraduate degree without scholarships.
“Other people contributed to scholarships for me, and so now that I have that opportunity, it would be almost hypocritical if I didn’t do the same,” says Luna.
For Luna, the best part about giving back is seeing the students he mentors at Commencement.
“I think giving back is something that all of the staff should have in common, and it doesn’t have to be money,” says Luna. “Even if you focus on 10 students and make sure that they’re OK, then we could probably cover everyone. Let’s work for the better.”