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2019 Power 50: Luis G. Pedraja

Quinsigamond Community College President Luis Pedraja
Luis G. Pedraja President; Quinsigamond Community College, Worcester Residence: Worcester Colleges: University of Virginia, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
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If any of QCC’s 13,000 students need a figure to exemplify the educational and career path many will take, they can look to their president. Pedraja, the QCC president since 2017, came to the U.S. from Cuba knowing virtually no English and ended up as the first in his family to go to college.

He has since dedicated his livelihood to making sure education can transform lives. Pedraja’s impact extends far beyond campus, and he hasn’t taken long to get involved in other ways, such as serving on the Massachusetts Economic Development Planning Council to make recommendations to Gov. Charlie Baker on ways to improve the economy. He serves on boards for United Way of Central Mass., Worcester Regional Research Bureau, Latino Education Institute at Worcester State University and MassHire Central Region Workforce Board. He tweaked QCC’s offerings after listening to students, with new programs this fall in criminal justice, media communications and accounting.

Where is Central Mass. headed? The community will continue to thrive, with an influx of residents, housing and economic development, and business growth.

The Kung Fu magician: I was a magician during grad school, doing shows at parties to supplement my income. I also have a green belt in Shaolin Kung Fu.

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