AUGUSTA — The Maine Community College System welcomes Valerie Laure Bilogue of Presque Isle as the new student trustee on the Board of Trustees.
Bilogue is a computer and networking technology student at Northern Maine Community College. She worked as an IT instructor in her native Cameroon before coming to Maine in 2018 to join her husband, who is currently a nursing student at NMCC.
When she arrived in Maine, she realized that many immigrants are familiar with the university system in the United States, but not the two-year community college system. Part of the reason she wants to be on the Board of Trustees, she said, is to teach recent immigrants to Maine about the community college system.
“Community college is affordable, and really good for training,” she said.
She also wants to use her position as student trustee to highlight the value of diversity in a community, and share her experience as an immigrant and mother of four who pursued her education while raising young children.
“I want to encourage parents and tell them they don’t need to stop their education,” she said. “My children are really proud of me. It encourages them and they want to be like me. Parents, don’t be afraid! Go forward, and look to the future.”
“Valerie’s experience and passion for education brings an important perspective to our board,” said MCCS President David Daigler. “Her commitment to helping all students, and other immigrants in particular, is especially welcome.”
Bilogue, a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, plans to work while pursuing a bachelor’s degree and eventually a doctorate. She graduated from NMCC in May.
Bilogue was nominated by Gov. Janet Mills and confirmed by the Maine Senate. Her first board meeting was on June 23.
The Maine Community College System’s Board of Trustees is the policy-making authority for the system and consists of 13 appointed voting members, one ex-officio voting member, and one ex-officio non-voting member.