My dad, Richard Pena, is a booster club member of C.O.D. and I remember going to all of the football, baseball, and basketball games as a kid. When I graduated from high school, C.O.D. was like going home and I have always felt like part of the C.O.D. family. While at C.O.D., I joined the school newspaper and the track team as a pole vaulter. As coincidence would have it, I met my future wife in the weight room at C.O.D. Although my wife, Letty, was from Coachella Valley High School and I was from Indio High School, cross-town rivals, at C.O.D. we were one.
After I graduated from C.O.D. with a A.A. degree in Liberal Studies, I transferred to the University of California, Riverside, where I graduated with a B.A. degree in Studio Art with an emphasis in photography. I became the photo editor of UCR's college paper. College of the Desert prepared me for success as they gave me a great foundation of knowledge and skills to complete my Studio Art degree program and launched me into my photography career.
After being a photojournalist for 21 years, I am now a freelance photographer living in Beaumont, CA.
Thanks College of the Desert, for being like family for me!