Controller John Chiang offers students finance, personal advice during Civic Leadership Speaker Series

President William A. Covino praised the leadership, tenacity and dedication to service of keynote speaker California State Controller John Chiang during the Civic Leadership Speaker Series’ first forum on April 10 in Cal State L.A.’s Golden Eagle Ballroom.

Entitled “Leadership and Financial Literacy for the 21st Century,” the forum was sponsored by the Asian and Asian American Studies Program, the College of Arts and Letters, College Business and Economics, College of Natural and Social Sciences, Communication Studies, and the Association of Asian American Studies.

“We are all very fortunate to have Controller Chiang hosting this discussion. There are very few elected officials in California who have dedicated themselves to public service as fully as he has,” said Covino. “Controller Chiang recently unveiled a website to track how and where the dollars from Proposition 30 are being used. These efforts toward transparency and accountability are essential as we work to restore funding for the CSU system and higher education in California more broadly.”

Along with investment and financial advice, Controller Chiang proudly shared the positive impact his family and parents—particularly his mother—had on his life, and used those and career experiences to provide constructive advice for the students who attended the lecture. He also emphasized the importance of such life choices as picking great friends, loving learning, and developing good habits.

“Love learning! You have an extraordinary opportunity that a lot of people on Earth do not have. And that’s a world-class education,” said Chiang. “You get to change your life. This moment, five seconds from now, an hour from now—you can grow as a person.”

He continued, “… I’m channeling my mom right now. She said, ‘pick great friends,’ because they all have an impact on you. Your happiness and financial success, a lot of that is highly impacted by the people in your life. So pick great people. They’ll help with stability, with finances, and help you have a more prosperous and enjoyable life.”

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