Omer Rains former California State Senator, spoke in President Gillette’s class on Tuesday evening. At age 32, Rains was elected to
serve the first of three terms in the California Senate representing approximately one million people in the Central Coast Area. In that capacity, among other positions, he served as Chairman of the Senate Majority Caucus (the youngest in State history), as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Political Reform.
Having served as Jimmy Carter’s California State Chair and Western States Co-Chair during Carter’s Presidential campaigns, and having then become involved in many of the former President’s key projects, Rains served as an international elections monitor/observer, and as an advisor to the South African Constitutional Revision Commission at the request of then President Nelson Mandela.
Among other humanitarian endeavors, he served as Chairman of the International Board of Director’s of Rural Education and Development (READ) Global. READ has built over 50 libraries and economic development centers in rural and remote areas of Nepal, India, and Bhutan. It has received recognition from several charitable and philanthropic organizations, as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Access to Learning” award. READ is taking its program into five more countries in the developing world in the next three years. For his humanitarian work in Nepal and India, Rains has been the recipient of the “Summit Society’s Annapurna Award.”
Rains had the students read his book Back to the Summit prior to class, and addressed the many accomplishments and failures he has had in his lifetime. The title of his book serves as a metaphor and tells about the “hills and valleys” he has faced. It chronicles how these challenges were overcome, the greatest challenge of all was being struck down by a life threatening brain aneurysm and hemorrhagic stroke that left him in a paralytic state and should have killed him. Yet today, he is fully recovered and his life is dedicated to helping the underprivileged gain literacy and economic prosperity, whether it is high in the Himalaya Mountains or in the lowlands of South Asia and Latin America.
To learn about his amazing life and inspiring accomplishments please visit his website.