Starting in early March, 2020, many countries went into lock-down due to the Coronavirus. Schools closed, people started to work from home, you could not go anywhere without a mask and sanitizer, and takeout became many people’s safest way to shop for food. Then on March 14th, a travel ban was placed on the United States to 26 European Countries. Many businesses and industries were, and are, severely impacted by this pandemic. While online shopping started to be the main source of shopping for many people, one business suffered immensely, and that was the travel industry.
Click. Silence. Four Beats. A breath. And go. This is the beginning of a typical recording session for Northern California based artist, Shilla Varasteh. At only nineteen, she has released several singles, an EP, and more all while balancing home and school life. She writes, produces, and releases her songs from her bedroom studio.
The above 13-minute video features an interview with Dr. Reyes Ortega about his work with the Puente program at Sierra College and his legacy as he enters into retirement. After the interview in the video, two former students share personal tributes. In the written article below, other former students pay tribute to their transformative teacher and offer advice to future students.