When I moved to the Coachella Valley in 1987, I only knew three people here. I had just graduated from San Diego State and I wanted to get to know more people in the valley. The first thing I thought of was to take a class at College of the Desert. I signed up for a dance class, which led to meeting Michele Gaines, and then to auditioning for "From the Heart", a COD production which was the very first show in the new McCallum Theatre. Over the years, I have taken other classes and now I work here.
I hear stories every day about ways in which the college enriches the lives of people in the Coachella Valley, whether they are current students, parents of students, former students, employers who have hired COD grads, people who have taken one class or attended an event on campus, and more. COD is more than a place to take a class, it is a community resource with open doors to anyone who has the desire to learn or experience something new. So many employees are committed to this outcome making COD a rewarding place to work.
I grew up in the grape fields of Indio. No one in my family had ever graduated from college. When I received my AA Degree from College of the Desert my family was so proud. That gave me the confidence to continue my education and to work toward a better future for my family and my hometown.
I returned to the city of Indio several years ago to serve as City Manager.