Octavius Licon: Dancing into a New Era

Octavius Licon has seen, been, done, and felt quite a bit in his thirty years.

From a foster child to a homeless adult alcoholic to a construction worker to a decorated re-entry student at Ventura College, Octavius’ path has danced and darted around like one of his original performance compositions.

“When I first started my journey into college education, I was planning on getting a degree in business,” recalls the bilingual Mission Hills High School graduate. “I had already opened up a shop for woodworking in Camarillo and was excited to learn more about owning a business.”

But the Woolsey Fire of 2018 had other plans.

“My company car and all my tools for work burnt in the Woolsey Fire,” remembers Octavius. “I had been so committed and hardworking for my carpentry business because I knew it was a practical and surefire way to make a decent living. There’s always work in construction.”

Before going on to “rise from the ashes” of his own fascinating life as a recipient of the Dave & Liz Kraus Phoenix Scholarship (along with four other scholarships from Ventura College Foundation), Octavius traveled to Japan to do some “soul searching” and connect to his true calling. As it turned out, the answer was music and dance.

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“After all that work amounting to nothing, I decided to put my hard work into something I’m passionate about,” says Octavius. “I’m deeply passionate about music and dance. Both of these subjects make me feel electric and involved.”

Today, Octavius’ career goal is to become a college professor by day and a performer by night. He will graduate from Ventura College in 2024 with a California Community Colleges- Associate Degree for Transfer (CCC-ADT in music, art, and humanities. While at Ventura College, Octavius has performed on the dance team, been involved in service work, and even put in 20 hours a week at a physically taxing construction job.

“Music brightens up life for dare I say every individual on the planet, and I see it as a very important facet of society,” says Octavius, who cites his father as his first music mentor. “I’m honored to be learning about music and how I can use my knowledge of music and whatever other skills I have to be whatever is needed for the people in my community. The idea of being involved in bringing the joy of music to people excites me so much.”

Up next for Octavius is a continuation of his education at either CSU Channel Islands or UC Santa Barbara. He’s not entirely sure where his path will lead him. He just knows that it will unfold to the sweet sound of music. He’s even in the process of recording his first album.