Brown names two to college financial aid board

Gov. Jerry Brown today named two Bay Area students as student representatives to the California Student Aid Commission, a body charged with “making education beyond high school financially accessible to all Californians” by administering Cal Grants and other programs.

Ishan Shah, 19, a Democrat from Fremont, is pursuing a degree in political science at Ohlone College. Shah served as a commissioner on the Human Relations Commission in Alameda County from 2010 to 2011, and as a student senator for the California Community Colleges from 2010 to 2011.

Johnny Garcia Vasquez, 22, a Democrat from Berkeley, is pursuing a degree in ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley while working as a student assistant at Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at Berkeley School of Law. He was a community outreach program assistant for the Health Initiative of the Americas in 2011.

These positions require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem.

The Cal Grant program gave financial aid to more than 370,000 students last year. Brown last month signed into law the rest of the DREAM Act so that, starting in 2013, illegal immigrants accepted by California’s public universities will have the same access to Cal Grants as do legal citizens.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.