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Antoinette Canchola

#134 Antoinette Canchola, Student
(Retail Management Certificate Program)

I’m big on school. I always liked and did well in school. I even started college out of high school, but quit. The idea of making money was just too appealing to resist. Then reality hit: You can’t get too far on $6.96 an hour. I decided the only way I could go to the top was to get the tools I needed to set me apart.

My employer, Food 4 Less, and COD did that for me. I started at Food 4 Less as a courtesy clerk. Now, I’m a customer-first manager. Thanks to the retail management certificate program that’s offered by the School of Business, Technical and Workforce Education, I’m making enough as a manager to live comfortably. I have two new cars. I take vacations when I want. I can support my family. I have only been in my new position one year, and I’ve already interviewed for a promotion. My training at COD has helped me grow by leaps and bounds. It’s that learning and training that set me apart; what gave me a competitive advantage.

Food 4 Less paid for my tuition and books; and the California Grocers Association will be giving me an Awards Party and a $100 cash honorarium. But, what COD did for me is more priceless than that. I got to hear professors from the field tell me, “I’m not going to let you fail.” And that meant the world to me.