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Thomas Lopez

#24 Thomas Lopez, Student
(Art, Emphasis in Graphic Design)

As the first in my family to complete high school or go to college, there is a lot of pressure on my shoulders to succeed. Prior to my academic pursuit in the fall of 2009, I was quickly going down the wrong path, and had more than my share of major legal problems. But my luck was about to change.

I had run into a fellow Navy veteran who told me to come down and check out College of the Desert, and that I could use my G.I. benefits to go to school. When I came through the door I didn’t know what to expect and signed up for a certificate in Digital Design and Production. After completing my first semester and making the Dean’s List I realized that higher education could be my calling. Since then, I have maintained a good GPA and have been on the Dean’s List every semester.

As I excelled in my studies and began doing quite well, I decided to change my goals and go for an associate’s degree. Over the next few semesters, I continued to do well and became a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society of which I am now currently the President.

With just two more semesters remaining here at COD, I have almost completed all of the necessary courses to transfer to a four year institution and pursue a bachelor’s degree and eventually a master’s degree. The one thing I am proud of more than anything else is the impression that I have made upon my children. They eagerly look forward to college and want to do good academically as their father has.

The choice to return to school has not only benefited me, but my family as well. Thank you to COD for “Opening the Door” and changing my life!