Community college has had a significant impact on my career and life. I started in a community college out of high school. That's when I first took notice of Palm Springs Fire Academy. Forty of us were selected out of about 800 applicants. That was my start in the community. I went back to school in 1984 at College of the Desert while I was a firefighter. I continued to take classes and attained my Associate of Science degree in 1987. When I got to COD I was taking classes in the evening, students were more my age with similar stories of working toward career advancement. I was able to take skills I learned in communications and writing at night and apply them immediately at work. That helped me get promoted and encouraged me to go on to get my B.A. in fire safety management. The education provided at College of the Desert is so valuable for the young people of our community. There's an education out there for everyone; we don't always take the same path.