Lox Groves leader selected as student trustee

In 2002, Palm Beach State College Dr. Floyd F. Koch Honors College and first-generation college student, Daniel Gil-Sanchez crossed the border of Mexico.

At the time, he was still in the womb of his mother, who was leaving the country for a better life in the U.S.

At 20, Gil-Sanchez is now living that better life his mom dreamed for him, which now includes serving as PBSC’s new student trustee for the 2023-24 academic year.

Chosen for the role out of 10 candidates who interviewed for the position, Gil-Sanchez will represent PBSC’s student body at his first District Board of Trustees meeting on Aug. 15 in Lake Worth. He is the 23rd student to serve in the role.

Born in Stuart and raised in Indiantown, Fla., Gil-Sanchez says life wasn’t easy growing up as his mother struggled financially. This is one of the reasons he applied for the student trustee job.

“I know what’s it’s like to struggle and feel like you’re not going to make it,” said Gil-Sanchez, who eventually moved to Pompano Beach and graduated from Seminole Ridge High School. “As student trustee, I want to help others who feel the same and am deeply passionate about advocating for the needs and concerns of my fellow students as well as the community.”

Gil-Sanchez, who is pursuing an Associate in Arts degree, not only wants to encourage students, but he is also helping connect them through clubs and activities at the Loxahatchee Groves campus.

After a conversation with professor Kevin Coakley who expressed a desire to start a Student Government Association and butterfly garden at the campus, Gil-Sanchez eagerly volunteered to make those ideas a reality.

He started the SGA in 2022, which he is the current president of, and was able to get many local nurseries to donate free plants to create the butterfly garden, called “The Eden Escape” that opened in spring 2023. He also plans to start a Phi Theta Kappa club at the campus this fall.

“Daniel is a gifted and dedicated student academically but, more importantly, has a true passion for PBSC and, in his short time with us, has had a tremendous impact on the Loxahatchee Groves campus, his classes and the student body,” said Coakley in a letter nominating him for the role.

Gil-Sanchez speaking at the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open The Eden Escape Butterfly Garden

Another nomination came from Student Activities Manager Cynedra Blake who he worked with to get other campuses to collaborate and to organize volunteers for student activities, events, and clubs.

“I have a particular management style and there are always multiple moving pieces with various goals to reach simultaneously. Daniel has been able to quickly adapt, and his hunger to learn makes it easy to work with him,” said Blake who noted that Gil-Sanchez played a major role in assisting her in gathering support for National Volunteer Week.

“He is always wanting to include students from the entire college in events and is always encouraging others to be involved and reach higher.”

After PBSC, Gil-Sanchez plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in construction management at either Florida International University or the University of Florida. He will get a jump start on learning the business at PBSC as he is set to start an internship with Kaufman-Lynn, the company that is building the Lox Groves new Dental & Medical Services Technology Building.

In his spare time, he enjoys watching Marvel movies and attends Saint Rita Catholic Church in Wellington where he founded the church’s youth adult group.

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