City Councilmember Nilo Michelin overwhelmingly won a seat on the El Camino Community College Board of Trustees this past November and had to vacate his Hawthorne City Council seat.
“I love my job being a teacher, helping students prepare for college,” said new El Camino Trustee Nilo Michelin who is a history teacher at the high school and middle school level in Huntington Park.
As the first member of his family to go to college, It was his drive to help others attain their own college education, that motivated him to seek the El Camino Community College trusteeship. “I always wanted students to have the same opportunity as I had to go to college.”
Raised by a single mother from Central America who taught him the value of hard work and family ties, Nilo attended the U.S. Naval Academy before graduating from UCLA with a Political Science degree and then from UCLA Law School with a Juris Doctorate degree.
Nilo’s municipal experience began as a Hawthorne city prosecutor from 1997 to 2004 working with the Hawthorne Police Department to make the community safer. He coordinated a program with the police department, fire department, and code enforcement department to reduce urban blight. “It was an honor to work with the Hawthorne Police Department to make our communities and schools safer.”
“But my passion has always been teaching and history,” said Nilo, “I remember reading about history ever since I was a kid”. He became a teacher in 2004 teaching at both the Middle School and High School levels. As a high school history teacher, Nilo is proud of his efforts to make college accessible to students. He has been a member of the El Camino College Foundation which raises funds for students to attend El Camino College. He was also a member of the El Camino College Oversight Committee which monitors spending at the college.
Before serving on the Hawthorne City Council, Nilo was a Hawthorne Elementary School District board member for 10 years where he helped create the Hawthorne Math and Science Academy, a college preparatory school focusing in the areas of Math, Science, and Technology. The Academy has won awards such as the National Blue Ribbon Award and the US News and World Report Top 100 High Schools Gold Medal Award. “Working with students and teachers to increase test scores was the highlight of my service to the Hawthorne School District.”
In 2011, Nilo was elected to the Hawthorne City Council because he wanted to improve the community and create a partnership between the city and local schools. “The City of Hawthorne is at the intersection of the 105 freeway, the 405 freeway, the Metro Green Line, and LAX. It has unlimited potential,” said Nilo. While on the council, Nilo worked to leverage Hawthorne’s unique location to bring in more economic development, and he created partnerships with local school districts to help students prepare for college. He supported the South Bay Work Investment Boardto provide jobs for students after they graduate.
- The Hawthorne Blvd. Mobility Improvement Project that revitalized Hawthorne Blvd., increased economic development, and increased traffic safety.
- The Downtown Hawthorne Specific Plan, a community driven planning project covering the areas of mobility, economic development and safety which was entirely paid for by grants.
- Hawthorne’s long-term agreement to keep SpaceX and the Tesla Motors Design Center in Hawthorne.
- Nilo has voted against more apartments and against wasteful spending.
- Nilo has supported programs that bring the community together.
- Hawthorne Good Neighbors Day, an event bringing the community together to celebrate its diversity and history.
- Hawthorne Historical Museum that highlights our history including notable former residents such as Marilyn Monroe and Jim Thorpe.
- Creation of the Veterans Commission and Senior Citizen’s Commission.
- Hawthorne Police Department’s “Coffee with a Cop” program which has been implemented nationwide.
- National Night Out is an event which strengthens community-police partnerships to fight crime.
Nilo has always been active in the community. He was President of the Hawthorne Rotary Club and the HawthorneNeighborhood Association. Nilo is married and is a Hawthorne homeowner.