The decision I made to return to College of the Desert has actually been one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.
I was pregnant with my fourth child. Unemployed, single and scared. I had no idea what to do. I did know that I needed a college degree in order to support my boys.
I have had some of the most amazing instructors. One was Mrs. Leslie Young, she was so inspiring. I had no books and no money for books. She offered hers while I was in class. She also offered me self-esteem. This is something that I had not experienced in a long time. NOT only are the instructors incredible so are so many of the counselors and staff. One after another showing me the way for different groups and clubs that would help me get through school.
Another very important part my of success is Mrs. Eve Marie Andrews. Her scholarship classes have made it possible for me to be where I am. As a single mother of four boys on financial aid it is one way I am able to be in my third semester of nursing school. Another very very important part of this is the Child Development Center on campus. The day I found out my son (Maximus) could attend, I cried. Without this amazing place I would not be able to be where I am at today. The facility is so beautiful. The staff is the best. I am able to study and know my son is in the best care possible. I actually have made the Dean’s list and Honor Roll many times because I am able to study without any worries about my "baby".
I plan on graduating in December 2012 with my Associate’s Degree in Nursing. This journey has not been easy. In fact, I have had a very rough road. But along this road I have learned that I have so much. I want to share my story and all I have learned with anyone wanting to listen.
After dropping out of college for a few years to experience life on my own as a young adult, taking classes at the local community college gave me the confidence to complete my higher education pursuits at UCLA, where I graduated with honors with a Bachelors in Environmental Policy, a Masters in Architecture and Urban Planning and a Law degree.
My community college instructors were not only skillful and knowledgeable, but they were also very motivating and caring. Without that community college experience, I probably would not have become the person I am today both personally and professionally. I never would have dreamed back then that I would become so dedicated to a professional career and the public I serve, but for my personal experience with re-entering higher education via my local community college.
I now am a partner in a boutique law firm of ten attorneys that exclusively serves public agencies throughout the Coachella Valley and beyond. This is an achievement that I use throughout the Coachella Valley in various venues to motivate many young people from very challenging and disadvantaged backgrounds to seek a higher education at College of the Desert.
This is my story.
Steven B. Quintanilla
Proudly serving the City of Rancho Mirage, City of Cathedral City, the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District, the Palm Springs Cemetery District, the Southern Coachella Valley Community Services District and the Palm Springs Desert Resorts Convention and Visitors Authority.
#84 Donni Prince, Class of 1977, Staff
(AA Degree/Liberal Studies
Currently, COD's Veterans Specialist)
College of the Desert has been a big part of my life for most of my life!
I graduated from COD in 1977. Even before I came as a student, I was hanging out at COD with my best friend, who was a cheerleader. Since I was tagging along with the cheerleaders, there were many times that I was put to work wearing the Roadrunner mascot costume, climbing ladders to hang signs, and traveling to games.
This lead to 20 years of doing stats for the COD Men’s Basketball team, and a few years doing football stats as well. There have been many road trips, tournaments and late nights, but lots of great friends and fun memories as well.
I have had the honor to be working with COD Veteran students since 1978 as the Veterans Specialist. It’s hard to believe that when I started my students were Vietnam era and I’m now into a few second generation COD Veterans (their parents attended here as Veterans in the 70’s & 80’s). Our Veteran student population has grown quite a bit in the last few years as we expand our ability to offer more services and support.
I’ve worked with many students throughout the years, and whether they like it or not, and no matter what their age, I call them “my kids”. I have been blessed to have them as a part of my life. My many years at COD have been filled with wonderful times. I’m
looking forward to many more great times ahead.
It was the music that did it for me. Once I stepped into my first music class I felt like I was on solid ground. That’s a feeling I want others to share, especially in my hometown. I’m proud to endow the Barry Manilow Scholarship Program at College of the Desert. Join me in stepping up for music. Step up for COD.
In 1982 he played as the number one player on the Varsity Men's Tennis Team at College of the Desert, Palm Desert, California. He won the singles and doubles State of California Division II Junior College Tennis Championship. In addition, the team won the team title for the State of California.
He chose to forgo a scholarship from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, to pursue a professional tennis career. He traveled internationally competing in Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines. Furthermore, he competed in Europe, traveling to Spain, France, Switzerland, and Italy. He also competed all over the East Coast from Florida to Washington DC. He attained a world ranking in singles as high as 662 with wins in the top 200 players; and in doubles 457 with wins over the top 50 players.
After ending his professional tennis career, Ossil taught tennis in various tennis clubs and resorts throughout the Coachella Valley. Realizing that his future was somewhat limited without a college education, he returned to College of the Desert where he obtained an associate degree in Economics and Business Administration. While attending College of the Desert, he managed to be a Senator and eventually President of the Associated Student Body. He was asked to coach the Women's Varsity Tennis in the Spring of 1989 where the team won their division conference. The Women's team went on to reach the quarterfinals of the state championship. He was privileged to coach the MVP and number one tennis player in the conference.
He was instrumental in organizing, directing, and implementing the first and only successful Mayors' Forum on the College of the Desert Campus in the Fall of 1989. This was a forum in which mayors were asked pertinent questions by students which affected the citizens in the Coachella Valley. This was a very successful event! (Side Note: Mayor Sony Bono of Palm Springs was in attendance at this forum, which was instrumental to the launch of his political career.)
Ossil transferred from College of the Desert to University of Redlands and finally completed his Bachelors in Business at California State University, San Bernardino. In August of 1995 he completed his Master's degree in Business with the concentration in organizational management at the University of Phoenix. He completed a Doctor of Education in Instructional Technology and Distance Education from Nova Southeastern University in 2002. He intends to utilize all that he has learned from life, academics, and experiences to better the outcome of those he serves.
Ossil is currently a teacher at Palm Desert High School where he teaches in the Business Technology Department Accounting 1 using QuickBooks Pro and Web Page Design. He is also the lead advisor for the first ever No Cussing Club in the Coachella Valley where the City of Palm Desert made a Proclamation that September 29, 2011 as "Cuss Free Day" and the 1st week of March, of every year will be "Cuss Free Week" for the City of Palm Desert.
This will coincide with the passage of "Cuss Free Week" which passed the California State Assembly in February 1, 2010. McKay Hatch, Founder, was very instrumental in its passage. For more information visit the national site: www.NoCussing.com or to visit the local chapter website at Palm Desert High School visit: www.PDHSNoCussing.com.