Help Your Fellow Students: Grossmont student receives Spirit of 9-11 Award at campus memorial.

Dylan Pheifer, Staff Reporter

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A Grossmont student has received the Spirit of 9-11 Award for his heroic efforts to stop an assault on campus last spring. Javier Partida is the recipient of the Board of Governors of Grossmont and Cuyamaca College District’s Spirit of 9-11 Award, after honking his horn until another student who was assaulting a young woman at knife-point in the college parking lot ran away.

On Oct. 22, the Grossmont Campus police received a call of what they believed to be an attempted car robbery. They quickly arrived on the scene, and after being given a description of the suspect leaving, apprehended him five minutes later. Anthony Washington was later sentenced to 16 years in prison after testimony from deputy and attorney for the prosecution, Nicole Roth, who stated: “(Washington) straddled the victim, when she screamed, he then covered her mouth and put his knife up to her neck.” Washington’s sentencing was mostly based on the fact the crime was considered pre-meditated because he stalked his victim, and had planned out his attack. Washington claimed he was  diagnosed with Schizophrenia and voices told him to “take sex,” according to ABC 10.

ASGC Vice President Esau Cortez described the Spirit of 9-11 Award as a way to “commemorate and honor people who stepped up to the call of duty and really shows selflessness in the community.” During the commemoration, students sat down to listen to the readings of names and partake in moments of silence for the victims in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and those on the airlines flights that were hijacked. The ASGC vice president said the point that he thinks should be made is this: “We don’t all have to be a first responder; a first responder can be anyone.”

Student accepting award (left to right) Esau Cortez, Javier Partida, Rafael Navarrete Photo by: Dylan Phiefer
Student accepting award
(left to right) Esau Cortez, Javier Partida, Rafael Navarrete
Photo by: Dylan Pheifer

Partida said he was simply looking for a parking space when he came across the assault, and after being angered by what he saw, he acted. He said he was too young to truly understand the significance of 9-11 when it occurred, but he remembers hearing about it on his way to school.

Lt. Col. Douglas “Lucky” Luccio was the keynote speaker for the award ceremony. Luccio was a strategist and speech writer for U.S. Special Operations Command, and senior advisor to the Afghan National Army Brigade. “The most precious things in life are what you can give to others,” he said. He continued to say that over the course of these 13 years since 9-11, $500 million has been raised for families and the New York Fire department. Law-school attendance rose 18 percent and the Peace Corps rose 40 percent. Luccio  had a challenge for those in attendance as well: “Endeavor to help your fellow students.”And that sums up the overall tone of the day’s events—people need to lend a hand out to each other, and do something when they are able.

The Spirit of 9-11 Award last year was also organized by Esau Cortez and Associate Dean of Student Affairs Sara Glasgow. The award is a way for students to remember 9-11 in a way that is “memorable and respectable,” according to organizers. The service consisted of a reading of the 2,996 victims’ names, broken into four moments of silence. Other speakers included Rafael Navarrete from ASGC Inc., Dr. Sunita V. Cooke and Dr. Cindy L Miles, district chancellor.