Fullerton College Centennial


Partner With Us!

Get Involved

ALUMNI STORIES: Merilou Salazar

Merilou Salazar

Fullerton College from 2009 - 2011.

Prior to attending Fullerton College, I knew I wanted to be involved with the music industry; however, I had no idea where to start. At Fullerton I met several professors that helped me shape my talent and passions… turning dreams that seemed so far away into potential career opportunities. I formed an indie-pop band with another Fullerton College alumni, Jessie Meehan, and we began playing shows locally while taking more music and art classes. With hard work and a realization of the entertainment industry through people like Alex Cima and Scott Ragotskie, we began to work at a much harder pace. Our shows to our friends in Downtown Fullerton started to grow and before we knew it, we found ourselves nominated to showcase for a Best Live Band OC Music Award Series in 2012, were opening a sold out show for The Naked and Famous at The Observatory and playing more amazing festivals and college events in the Orange County area. Despite my mother's wishes (first-generation Filipino immigrant who doesn't understand the arts as a career), I dived into the industry trying to learn as much as I could, taking several internships and rush hour drives to Los Angeles 3 days a week for 2 years.

Fullerton College introduced me to other amazing professors such as Marie Perez (Film), Doug Kresse (Speech and Debate coach) and Angie Andrus (sociology)… all whom have helped me develop my character to have the best tools I could have for the line of work I wanted to be involved in. Kresse's coaching and tournaments helped me learn to think on my feet (I placed 2nd and 3rd in several district/state tournaments for impromptu and speech-to-entertain). They've helped me see the bigger picture of life and the circumstances within. College became more than just getting straight A's and figuring out a path that will get you the most "success" on paper. It became a period of time of finding who I am and choosing a direction that will make me want to work harder everyday at being a better person. It let me understand that not everything needs to be figured out at once, but with the proper tools and knowledge, I can be invincible in pursuing whatever I chose to do.

Now that I've graduated from my undergraduate study, I live in Los Angeles and devote 100% of my time music, be it writing, recording, performing, etc., doing whatever it takes to progress, my band WASI. This "broke artist" path that I never would have thought I'd taken drives me everyday to work harder than the day before to reach my full potential. I've learned to make sacrifices for the better and live my life to the fullest. I want to be out in the world making a difference, giving back where I can while exercising my own creative strength. I changed my major approximately 8 times at Fullerton College, from business/economics to math to physics to music to sociology to film… and finally to women's studies. From all this I learned that the major doesn't matter and that it's all about who you come out of the institution as.

As long as you believe in yourself and understand that on graduation. when you turn that cap from left to right, you're walking out the same person with the same life, but if you know who you are, you can believe that you'll make the right decisions and learn to pick yourself up from your mistakes just to carve your own path along the way. That is what I learned at Fullerton College.

PS. You can hear our current music project (WASI) at Facebook.com/WASIband. This project was released September 2013.

Alumni Strories: Merilou Salazar