I never aspired to be a millionaire. I prefer open spaces over cramped places. Yet, as Coordinator of EOPS/CARE & CalWORKs, statistics are my thing. I like to gauge the probability for success by the non-traditional and re-entry students we motivate at COD.
It’s incredible, really, when you count the numbers: 2,836 student assists since 2005. Of that group, 981 students achieved Dean’s List and Honor Roll status; 421 received their A.A. degrees. Another 235 went on to four-year universities.
Knowing the faces and stories behind those numbers makes me feel so blessed. It’s very humbling and it motivates me, too. I want to give back to them what I’ve been given.
I was a single-parent who married my high school sweetheart, and at 25, moved back into my parents’ home when things didn’t work out. My son, Matt, was three when I began my educational journey. A pamphlet from Northern Essex Community College arrived in the mail, and Mom said, “Why don’t you go to college?” I had nothing to lose; so, I enrolled. In 1981, I obtained an A.S. degree in Deafness Communication from NECC and was one of 40 women on welfare to be awarded with a full scholarship from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to attend Smith College. I went from having nothing to getting a B.A. in Psychology from Smith; then, a Master’s of Arts degree from Mount Holyoke College.
I moved to California in 1988, and worked for many years in the TRIO programs, like Upward Bound. I created a book in collaboration with Cal State Monterey Bay to empower single parents on CalWORKs to get college degrees. I came to COD after my husband, Dr. Doug MacIntire, became a COD faculty member in the Physics Department in 2002. I signed on as an adjunct counselor, and fell in love with the college.
All things conspire to inspire. And that held true for me: I went from being the first in my family to get a degree, to having a son who was first to start college out of high school. Today, he’s a teacher; a Dad. I’m really proud of him. And when I see a steady stream of students come to us with their hopes and dreams, I am rewarded when they are empowered to continue on, even when obstacles block their paths.
I think that’s the key to what education does. It transforms lives, not just yours. It transforms the lives of all those around you.
A thirst for knowledge is one of life's greatest passions. We must work together to support our valley's students as they strive to achieve excellence through learning. COD is an extraordinary place that needs our combined efforts. Please examine and act on your belief in higher education.
I washed a lot of dishes, bused a thousand tables and inherited my parents’ passion for the restaurant business. But the best thing I’ve ever brought to the table was my education from College of the Desert. Now, after three generations of my family have graduated, it's time to turn the table and step up for COD.
The Public Safety Academy not only prepared me for the career of a lifetime, but it also molded me into the person I am proud to be. Every day of my life I wake up prepared for a new adventure.
Graduating from COD helped me land my dream job as a Palm Springs Police Officer. Since then, I have experienced more than I ever could have imagined. And thanks to the training and experience I received from COD I have been successful in my career.
Without COD, I couldn't say where I would be, maybe still dreaming of a better future. But now my dreams have become a reality.
I am a photographer who recently had the opportunity to work with the marketing staff and get a real "behind the scenes" view of COD. It was like doing an amplified college tour. I visited many departments, met many college professors and staff members and was truly impressed with the campus and with the quality of the personnel at COD. With this campus setting placed smack dab in the middle of the beautiful Palm Springs area, it is truly a gem in the desert.