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260 Stories And Counting.

Alejandra Baragan

#219 Alejandra Baragan, Student
(Student, Majoring in Early Childhood Education)

I am currently a College of the Desert student. I've been attending COD for the last three years. I am currently working at the McCarthy Child Development and Training Center. I enjoy what I do at the Center.

Joaquin Perez

#218 Joaquin Perez, Student
(Liberal Arts: Social Science and Behavior)

When I started attending College of the Desert back in 2010 and was not sure what I would be doing, I decided to study Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Social Science and Behavior. It is now four years later and my journey has been anything but easy. I had a baby, got married, and moved out to be on our own. All this made school a bit challenging, but it was possible to continue with all of the help that COD provided.

For example, the best thing that happened to me and my wife, who works and also attends COD, is the McCarthy Family Child Development & Training Center on campus. If the Center were not around to help we would have had a difficult time attending COD and furthering our education while having a child and working at the same time. The Center helps provide child care for my daughter while we are in class, doing homework, or even working. Now, because all of that was possible I most likely will be graduating in the spring of 2015. I plan to transfer to Cal State San Bernardino to get my Bachelor’s Degree in History with a teaching credential so that I can teach high school students and give back to the community through education.

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Luke Horning

#217 Luke Horning
(Attended COD Summer Session to Get Ahead)

Luke Horning always wanted to be his own boss. After graduating from Palm Desert High School in 2005, he enrolled in San Diego State University and went to work painting houses on the side to help pay for classes. Luke’s goal was to complete college in four years so he sought out additional transfer courses that would advance his academic plans. College of the Desert (COD) offered the classes he needed in business and management so he enrolled in summer session to get ahead. “The professors were great and the classes were affordable,” Luke said. “I was able to work while attending which made it possible for me to advance my coursework.”

Thanks to hard work and the availability of transfer courses, such as those at COD, Luke earned his bachelor’s degree in business management in 2009 and opened Luke Horning Paint Company in Palm Desert shortly thereafter.

College of the Desert helped Luke advance his goals for higher education,a career and a good life. He recently came back to COD to share his real life business experience with business students. “I wanted to let students know that it is important to have both education and career goals,” Luke emphasized. “If they focus on completion they can succeed in business and in life.”

Luke is pictured with wife Heather Enos Horning, also a COD alum.

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Alisha Terrell

#216 Alisha Terrell, Student
(Seeking AA and transfer to a Cal State or UC school, to get my bachelors in Public Health to become a nutritionist. )

When I was born my mother was struggling with a drug addiction and a drinking problem.I was born drug addicted and needed extra care. My Uncle and Aunt took me and my sister in and raised us as if we were their own.Growing up we learned how important education was and staying active and not following the crowd but being a leader. We were always active with sports and never had a gaming console.I was not close to my mother through out the years, but as I got older we have gotten closer an closer, and I learned not to blame her for the decisions she chose to make. My plan in life is to help others make the right decisions in there life from the inside out.

Paulina Ferro Hernandez

#215 Paulina Ferro Hernandez, Student
(Student working on my AA-T in ECE and Staff at McCarthy Family CD&TC)

I feel inclined to Step Up For COD because without College of the Desert, the faculty, and its services I would not be able to further and eventually complete my education. I am working on receiving my AA-T in Early Childhood Education and am planning my graduation for Spring 2016. I have been attending COD since 2009. The way my personal life has played out I could have been discouraged from attending college but COD has eased my experience and allowed me to continue on with my education even after becoming a mother and wife at a young age. The key part of COD, for me, has been the care provided for my son and the job opportunity presented for myself at the McCarthy Family Child Development & Training Center.

Throughout my attendance, I have been lucky enough to always have extremely knowledgeable professors who are invested in their students and attentive to their needs (or maybe I just ask too many questions). I've also been introduced to the McCarthy Family CD&TC because of my connection with the ECE program. I have been employed at the Center since Fall 2013, as an Intern and as one of two Coordinators for the Family Literacy Program made available to us by the Anderson Children's Foundation. I take pride in our program and joy in my work; working with children and their families in order to make their experience at COD enjoyable, just as mine has been. The Center has not only allowed me to earn money and been flexible with my hours (working around my class schedule), but it has also been a place where I feel completely comfortable leaving my son while I go to class and do my classwork. I was not able to find another child care center or preschool with this quality of care for a price that I could afford; but, I am lucky enough to be a recipient of the McCarthy Scholarship which helps pay the major part of my son’s tuition. Every day I drop him off I know he will be well taken care off, he will be involved in rich, play-based, learning experiences, and he will have an organic, well-rounded, made-from-scratch breakfast, lunch, and snack.

Overall I wrote this to put a spotlight on the Early Childhood Education program and its faculty and also on the McCarthy Family Child Development & Training Center’s program, faculty, and staff. I want to thank them for all they do and I want them to know how greatly they have impacted my life. Thank you.

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