#64 Oscar Fonseca, Class of 2002, Staff
(I received a Liberal Arts, Associates Degree in 2002. I am currently the Upward Bound counselor in the main campus, serving the west valley high schools since May 2009. )
My educational journey began in 1989 at the age of seven, when my parents decided to move to the Coachella Valley. My Father, an accomplished upholsterer, and my Mother, a seamstress, decided to raise my sister, Laura, and me in the desert. We moved to the City of La Quinta in 1992 where my parents still have their home.
In 1999, I graduated from La Quinta High School and was accepted to CSU, San Bernardino, Long Beach State and UC Riverside. My Father, being the smart man that he is, had a conversation with me, and as a family we decided that I would attend College of the Desert (COD). I attended COD because of the cost of attendance and so that I would be closer to my family. Little did I know that my Father also knew that every student takes approximately two years of general education, and COD had the better price per unit, I believe it was $13.51 per unit at that time.
On August 19, 1999, I walked on the campus of College of the Desert as a student. I was scared, confused and lost but I also understood that my educational journey was starting in a place that would give me a chance to succeed. Like many student’s I began my college experience taking remedial courses like Eng. 50, Eng. 55 and Reading 50. My journey seemed long and difficult, but when you have professors like Linda Morante, Richard Rawnsley and Gary Bergstrom, I understood that this world had people that cared for students like me.
I was also introduced to the ACES program and people like Adell Bynum, Khanh Hoang and Adrian Gonzales who took me under their wings and became true mentors of my educational journey. These six individuals are the back bone of my educational success.
In 2002, I graduated from COD with my A.A. degree in Liberal Studies. I then transferred to California State University, Fresno and graduated with my B.A. degree in Liberal Studies in 2004. I continued my education at the same institution and received a M.S. degree in Counseling and Student Services in 2008.
The main reasons why I returned to COD was to serve my community. I want my students to see that a local kid, who graduated from La Quinta High School, attended COD, left the desert for eight years and after completing his Master’s degree has returned to make a difference in his community. I want to be an example of persistence and drive.
I feel that getting an education at College of the Desert has given me the ability to inspire others to say “If he can do it, then I can do it TOO.”