CWU News

CWU Center Director Encourages the Next Generation of Leaders

Manuel Rodriguez’s biggest motivator in life was the endless rows of pear, apple and cherry trees with fruit dangling off the branches that were ready to be picked at dawn in the orchards of Zillah and Toppenish.

Now Rodriguez, 32, spends his time in and out of meetings as the director of the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement at Central Washington University.

“Going to the fields was my motivation because my parents kept saying, ‘is this what you want to do?’ I was like, ‘No way.’ I definitely worked hard but it definitely pushed me to do better in high school and to pursue a higher education, so that was a big motivator,” he said.

Read more of this story in the Daily Record.