View Stories

260 Stories And Counting.

Debbie Suer

#142 Debbie Suer, Student
(Pursuing my AA degree; California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors certificate from COD in 2012)

College of the Desert has opened doors to higher education, academic success, a future career for me and a new life for my entire family. On top of this, I have received an invitation to attend the Presidential Inaugural Conference in Washington D.C. based on academic merit achieved at COD. This rare opportunity is not only the outcome of hard work on my part; but also the generous support of my family, faculty and advisers at COD who believe in me and who have offered help and inspiration along the way.

I am currently a full time student pursuing my AA degree, and I plan to continue through my Masters. I received my CAADAC (California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors) certificate from COD in 2012. I have maintained a 4.0 grade point average for seven semesters and recently became a member of the All-USA Community College Academic Team through Phi Theta Kappa.

Prior to attending COD, I worked 30 years in the travel industry. Then the tragedy of 9-11 changed all of that. At the same time my husband was diagnosed with a debilitating illness, resulting in financial hardship for my family. In 2009, I turned to College of the Desert with hope for a new start, enriching my life through higher education, and a new career path.

Being a good role model to my two daughters is my primary motivation for continuing my education and changing my career goals later in life. I am also inspired to share the gifts of sobriety with others who are struggling with addiction as I did 24 years ago. I am learning that the personal and scholarly work never ends, so I am determined to help others learn to live a life of sobriety, as I have, “no matter what".

My advice for any woman considering the decision to go to school is trust your self " trust your gut feelings. Even if it seems impossible, like it did for me, it may not be too late. We each have a special gift and contribution for this world. If it means going back to school to answer your own calling, no obstacle is too big to prevent this.

I am grateful to College of the Desert for the opportunity, help and inspiration, particularly Professors Acree, Emerson, Jones-Cage, and Drs. Britton, Church, Jordan and Greene. They have all encouraged me tremendously. A special thank you goes to Eve-Marie Andrews for her expert guidance in obtaining scholarships. I trust that this story and my life is now making a difference because of this support, and I look forward to making positive contributions to the community; I will continue making a difference in the lives of others as they have made in mine.