Vincent Jared Rasso
Why I Do What I Do:
The fundamental pillar to securing racial equity, empowering the economic stability of our families and communities, and preparing our youth to tackle issues for future generations begins with affordable, accessible college education for all.
Alma Mater(s): University of California, Riverside
Your role in one sentence: I work to empower student leaders across the UC, CSU and community college systems through management of the Student Leadership Institute, Higher Education Advocacy
Round Table, engagement in UC Regent and CSU Trustee policy reform, and support for coalition-building efforts on campuses, in regional boards, and statewide!
When I am not at work helping students get to and succeed in college I am… running long-distance or hiking local trails around my community, spending time with my nephew, or grabbing a coffee.
If not higher education then what cause? Promoting civic engagement education, engaging local government, and following along election cycles.
Vincent Rasso was born in Riverside and has developed a deep appreciation for the Inland Empire, growing up in the cities of Colton, Grand Terrace, and San Bernardino. With both parents holding backgrounds in public service, Vincent became passionate about government and policy in high school, where he served as Student Body President, engaged his local school board, and was nominated to the county superintendent’s student advisory board.
He was introduced to legislative affairs through State Senator Connie Leyva’s young senators program, an experience he leveraged during his time as a student leader at UC Riverside. Vincent served as the Vice President of External Affairs and Director of Government Relations for the Associated Students of UCR, leading student advocacy on college affordability, basic needs, civic engagement, and lobbying efforts. He was also elected to serve as the systemwide Chair of the UC Student Association Board of Directors, leading statewide campaigns on financial aid and building strong advocacy coalitions across the UC system. He has been awarded UCSA Advocate of the Year in University Affairs and has been recognized with the ASUCR President’s Award for Outstanding External Relations for his accomplishments in leadership and systemwide advocacy. After graduating with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside, Vincent became the first in his family to earn a Bachelor’s degree.
Prior to joining the Campaign, Vincent worked on youth engagement for the California 100, a statewide initiative building a transformative vision for California’s next century. He has focused on championing community-based issues in many spaces, most notably: working to advance racial justice and equity by expanding leadership opportunities for Black and Brown students and women of color in student government spaces, elevating undocumented students to secure institutional and state resources through campus organizing and legislative advocacy, and advocating for air quality and equitable community protections from corporate greed and polluting warehouse developers with inland environmental justice organizations. Vincent has also been a former participant in the Campaign for College Opportunity’s Student Leadership Institute and Higher Education Advocacy Round-Table (HEART) and is thrilled to come full-circle and have the chance to run these programs for the Campaign. He is a proud half-marathon runner and considers following various elections and public policy movements, going out to the movies, and indulging in musicals among his favorite hobbies!