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258 Stories And Counting.

Joyce Daniels

#151 Joyce Daniels, Transfer to CSUSB

College of the Desert helped me believe in me. What started out as a simple decision to take one class in Women’s Studies at my nearby community college to keep myself occupied after the kids were gone, ended up transforming my life. That one class opened my mind to the limitless possibilities higher education can provide. It also opened the door to a fascinating area of study and a degree in psychology.

The education and experience I gained at COD, and later at Cal State, made possible a tremendous 17 year career at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage. I will forever be grateful to College of the Desert, the faculty and the support provided there.

I am proud to step up for COD and share my story.

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Carlos A.  Maldonado

#150 Carlos A. Maldonado, Staff
(Director of Student Life)

I believe education changes lives - it changed mine. I started my higher education at a California Community College and often say the education and experiences I received there saved my life. I chose to build a career in the California Community College system because I wanted to give back.

College of the Desert serves the residents of the Coachella Valley by giving them access to quality instruction and the services to support their success. I am proud to be a part of the College of the Desert family where students receive a meaningful education that will change them forever. Join me and StepUpForCOD!

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Steven Valpy

#149 Steven Valpy, Class of 1991
(A.A. Business Administration 1991; Adjunct professor )

Upon earning my Business Admin degree in 1991 here at College of the Desert, I was able to open my first construction company using the knowledge given to me by some amazing professors, some who are still teaching here today!

Then in 2010, after 17 successful years of building homes locally, I was offered the wonderful opportunity to "Step up for COD" by teaching construction technology and project management where it all started for me.

I feel a great deal of gratitude towards College of the Desert for positively effecting my personal and professional life and inspiring me in my lifelong pursuit of education.

Pay it forward, donate however you can and Step up for COD!

Steven Valpy

CEO - S. E. Valpy Construction & Engineering

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#148 Justyn Mawby, Transfer to California State University Los Angeles
(Prerequisites for nursing program)

In the summer following high school graduation I entered the Public Safety Academy at COD to prepare for a future carreer with the fire service. At the time COD offered an accelerated EMT course over the summer. I enrolled in the program and became immersed in the world of emergency medicine and got the first taste of how demanding a career in this field would be. After completing the EMT training at COD I passed the National Registry exam and became a registered EMT with Riverside County.

It was now time to look for a position with one of the valley's medical transportation companies. In the interim I was also involved with fire science courses also offered at the Public Safety Academy.

Before the interview process with America Medical Response had begun I had the blessing to meet a local oral and maxillofacial surgeon in the valley, Dr. Peter Scheer. After briefly speaking with Dr. Scheer regarding my EMT training and aspirations of becoming a paramedic I was invited to his office to observe a cosmetic procedure. The following day I was in scrubs assisting and integrating my way into his practice. I am now the surgical supervisor for Dr. Scheers practice and have been working with him for over three years.

I feel my experience with the Public Safety Academy has aided my progress with some intangible skills. From my first encounter with members of the fire service as a fire explorer to my class time experience with Chief Ignacio Otero and Carol Giannini I absorbed the concept of "Professionalism" that is a necessary character trait for any member of the EMS system. More so than medical knowledge, my charisma and confidence that was bolstered by my time at COD has enabled me to advance quickly and pursue my aspirations to the greatest degree.

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Christa Blaquiere

#147 Christa Blaquiere, Transfer to Augsburg College

I transferred to COD from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada to pursue collegiate level softball. The friendly atmosphere and small class sizes made my year at COD a positive and memorable one. Attending College of the Desert has helped me on and off the softball field. I am now transferring to Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN on a 70% academic scholarship to play softball at the four year level. Playing softball for College of the Desert has helped me excel at the sport in Canada. This summer I led my team to a Saskatchewan provincial title as well as the U21 Western Canadian title.