I started at College of the Desert in Fall 2003, unsure of what I wanted to study or ultimately do. I took my first psychology class as a matter of chance; it was open and I needed the credits. I didn't know what to expect, but I never anticipated that I would fall in love with the subject the way that I did. My professor, Linda Emerson, was amazing and exuded an impressive passion for the subject. I was hooked.
I ended up taking every Psychology course COD offered before I graduated. I transferred to UC Irvine, where thanks to my 4.0 GPA and volunteer experiences I attended as a Regent's Scholar - a full academic, merit-based scholarship and the highest honor given by the UC schools. I continued to explore my passion for psychology, and I graduated with a BA in Cognitive Sciences.
In Fall 2009, I accepted a position as a fully-funded Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology at Kent State University in Ohio. This field is incredibly competitive, and I am lucky enough to have a full tuition waiver and a graduate stipend. I am currently in my fourth year at Kent, and I very strongly believe that the academic foundation I built at COD has paved the road to my doctorate. People are surprised when I say I started at a community college, but I'm not - sometimes the greatest passions and inspirations come from small classrooms, and those willing to believe in their students.
I joined the COD football staff as an assistant football coach in 1994 and was fortunate to be a part of a Conference Champion team and Bowl game winning program. Over the next 15 years I was a part of the program as assistant coach and in other capacities. I will always cherish my time on the campus and on the field. The football program has helped develop many young men to be productive and successful members of our society. The relationships I formed were far more valuable than the wins on the field. Our life long connection started at COD. As a coach, role model and mentor to these young men, COD was an experience that helped shape who I am today.
The years at COD will always be some of the best in my life. This school is an important part of the community. Many people start their dreams and accomplish their goals at this school. I was fortunate to achieve some of my dreams at COD.
You could say I know a thing or two about smart investments after advising my clients for more than 30 years. For me, COD is one of the smartest investments we can make for our community. I’m proud to step up for COD and the work they do to create a skilled workforce that is so vital to the region’s economic vitality.
My family moved from Vietnam when I was three. Growing up, my parents stressed the importance of higher education. College of the Desert made it possible for me to pursue academic interests close to home. My teachers and mentors at COD helped open the door to a degree in Neuroscience. Soon, I’ll be on my way to medical school. Thanks, COD.
I love my desert home. This community is like no other. Whether you're here part-time or live here year-round like I do, College of the Desert has a huge impact on our quality of life. When I give I know I'm helping students from all walks of life get one step closer to their hopes and dreams - that's why I stepped up for COD.