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258 Stories And Counting.

Gale Hackshaw

#73 Gale Hackshaw, Class of 1995

One day in midlife, the courage to return to college overtook me. A few years later, I flipped the tassel on my valedictorian cap and became the therapist I dreamed of being. I’m happy to now give back to the college that gave "its all" to me. Thank you College of the Desert.

#72 Imelda Garcia, Student
(Early Childhood Education)

I returned to college after completing the most important job in my life; motherhood. My two older boys (twins age 25) each completed their undergraduate studies and received their Bachelor Degrees four years ago. They each have excellent careers. My little one (age 20) is a few months away from his Associates Degree with plans to transfer to the University in pursuit of his Bachelor's Degree.

My husband and I felt that now with our children becoming educated, productive young men in society, it was time for me to accomplish a few goals outside of the home. Therefore, I am currently enrolled at COD with an immediate goal of obtaining my Early Childhood Education (ECE) State Permit, which I am a few months away from achieving. Secondly, I hope to complete my studies towards my Associates Degree in ECE and eventually, continue my studies at our local CSUSB campus.

So far, COD and staff have provided an excellent learning environment, making my transition from "stay-at-home mom" to student appear very easy.

So much so, that I was voted President of the ECE Club. Thanks COD!

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Raul Rodriguez

#71 Raul Rodriguez, Class of 1991

It had always been a dream of mine to play in the major leagues and COD baseball gave me a shot. While that dream wasn’t meant to be, it was the college’s business classes that helped me field a successful career in broadcast television. I owe it all to COD. That’s why I "Stepped Up".

Debbie Apple

#70 Debbie Apple, Transfer to Biola University
(General Education)

I took my first college class in 1978 at C.O.D. My high school teacher, Philip Ferranti, was teaching a sociology class here and encouraged me to sign up. I was still in high school and needed a teacher to sign for me to take a college class. Eventually I transferred to Biola University and earned a B.S., M.A. in Ed., and a teaching credential.

I had been a teacher for almost twenty years when my husband and I returned to the desert five years ago. I got a teaching position through DSUSD and now work as a language arts teacher in Indio. I love teaching and making a difference in the lives of young people.

I am so thankful that Mr. Ferranti invited me to attend my first college class. I don't know where I would be today if it wasn't for the encouragement of my teacher and the College of the Desert. Thanks for the great start!

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Al Griswold

#69 Al Griswold, Class of 1988, Transfer to Oregon State University
(AA in Liberal Studies)

I came from Georgia to play football, where I was team MVP and Southern California Bowl Champion. I had more than 15 Division One scholarship offers to continue my education and career in football. COD made all this possible. I transferred to Oregon State University where I continued my education and football career. I graduated and then continued my education. I have a Master's Degree and am currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree. I'm employed at a community college in Washington state, where I oversee all professional/technical programs as the Executive Dean of Instruction. Sports and education save lives. Thanks COD!