Student returns to assist ASO

Student returns to assist ASO

Ozzy Portillo works at his computer in the ASO building at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Dec. 4, 2023.

During his youth, Associated Student Organization (ASO) Student Service Assistant Jason “Ozzy” Portillo had a strong aspiration to work within a school district.


As a Pierce College alumni, he experienced a sense of disconnect on campus and recognized his desire to return and give back to the community.


Portillo had experience as a student worker at Pierce and learned from other staff and employees to help him thrive. Prior to being a student worker, he said that he was struggling monetarily and he decided to take a semester off and work at Pierce full time. 


“To be completely honest, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do,” Portillo said. “I knew that I really liked math and decided to pursue a major in mathematics. I love the college community and was happy to take a position anywhere.” 


His new position for Student Services has been beneficial and he enjoys developing strong relationships with his students.


“Although it has been challenging transitioning from working in Federal Aid to a more student focused position, I have enjoyed every step of the way,” Portillo said. “It has been very gratifying being able to witness all of the events on campus and helping to build a stronger community and being more involved with the students.”

While at Pierce College, he gained valuable insights from the Financial Aid Director Anafe Robinson, describing her as an invaluable source of support. He emphasized that she was among the first individuals to believe in him and has significantly contributed to shaping his current identity.


Portillo worked in the Financial Aid Office as an assistant.  During his time in the Financial Aid Office, Portillo was in-charge of the Veterans Services, serving as the School Certifying Official for veterans benefits.  


Robinson would describe Portillo as, “ an excellent team member, always reliable and resourceful.  He demonstrates cooperative spirit, professionalism, integrity and caring disposition. Portillo has a wonderful rapport with the public of all ages and in a multicultural environment.”

Furthermore, Portillo collaborated with Tatevik Melkumyan, the Multicultural Center Coordinator, starting in 2015 when he served as a student worker. Portillo regards her as a mentor who has consistently provided guidance and valuable insights, steering him in the right direction.


“Working alongside Jason has always been a pleasure. He is constantly going above and beyond for our students and staff,” Melkumyan said. “Although he works in the ASO office which is right next to us, he is always helping out at all of our events and dedicating so much time to really connect with the students. Jason is truly one of a kind.”