Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Grossmont College student Charles Harrington: Cooking up a bright future

Charles Harrington
Even while living in foster homes or on the streets, Charles Harrington was drawn to cooking, drawing inspiration from Food Network celebrities such as Rachel Ray and Bobby Flay. So when Harrington tired of the seemingly endless stream of minimum wage jobs and enrolled at Grossmont College, the Culinary Arts program was his first stop.

“It changed my life,” Harrington said.

Now the 32-year-old Spring Valley resident is on track to earn a certificate of achievement in baking and pastry next June, he’s working as a baker at San Diego State University, and he’s determined to open a delicatessen or perhaps a food truck.

He says he couldn’t have done any of it without Grossmont College, where he has secured a pair of scholarships to help support his dream.

“Every program I signed up for and everyone I saw, whether it was in counseling, EOPS, Umoja – it didn’t matter, they all helped make sure I was going to get where I needed to go,” Harrington said. “From the top administrators all the way to the teachers, they all want you to succeed.”

Friday, September 29, 2017

Civic leadership award presented to Bill and Judy Garrett

Judy and Bill Garrett
A new award honoring individuals who have made notable contributions to the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District and the East County community was presented last night to El Cajon residents Bill and Judy Garrett.

The recognition, named the Bill and Judy Garrett Civic Leadership Award, was presented to the Garretts to honor their leadership on district boards and their financial support of Grossmont and Cuyamaca College students.

“The Garretts have given tremendously of their time and their money, but most importantly their wisdom and leadership, to the college district,” said Chancellor Cindy L. Miles. “The contributions that Bill and Judy have made change lives every day around this college district.”

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Grossmont College career expo expands to add apprenticeships

Career- and job-minded students and the public can get a two-fer in the form of a career expo and apprenticeship fair at Grossmont College in October.

Grossmont College’s 39th Annual Career/Apprenticeship Expo is set for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, in the Main Quad.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Cuyamaca College's Ornamental Horticulture program helping to make a school's garden grow

Garden at Wegeforth
Elementary School
Cuyamaca College’s Ornamental Horticulture Department has helped transform an underutilized patch at a San Diego elementary school into a community reading garden and gathering spot where parents are getting to know each other and teachers are taking their lessons outdoors.

“Cuyamaca College was amazing,” said Wegeforth Elementary School Principal Lori Sandoval. “This project really came together beautifully and is a wonderful addition to our campus.”

The effort evolved following a recent natural gas leak prompted repairs that yielded an area at the front of the school near San Diego’s Montgomery Field into an afterthought. Sandoval and teacher Isabelle Farrell saw an opportunity to grow the site into a landscaped area where parents could congregate while waiting to pick up their children from school and where teachers could take their students for lessons al fresco. After the two secured a nearly $5,000 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant for materials, they reached out to Cuyamaca College’s award-winning Ornamental Horticulture program for help in pulling off their vision.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Banned Books launches fall reading series

The Grossmont College English Department will launch its annual Fall Reading Series with its “Banned Books/Banned Lives” event that coincides with National Banned Books Week and takes place 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 28, in Griffin Gate.
“Banned Books/Banned Lives: #RISE” is a student-led reading that will feature spoken word poetry and performance prose by students, faculty and administrators that celebrate freedom of expression and raise awareness about censorship and persecution. Original works are paired with or inspired by resistance literature. The event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Salsa Under the Stars at Grossmont College

If salsa music gets your hips swaying, but you’ve got two left feet on the dance floor, Grossmont College’s “Salsa Under the Stars” is just the perfect evening starting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25.

Complete with free dance lessons an hour before the main event, the music department’s “Salsa Under the Stars,” is a fundraiser for student scholarships and a CD release celebration for music instructor and internationally known salsa bandleader, composer and recording artist Manny Cepeda.

Randy Voepel: From Grossmont College to the state Legislature

Randy Voepel
After serving eight years, eight months and 21 days in the Navy during the Vietnam War, Randy Voepel returned home to El Cajon in 1978 unsure about his future and with his mind affected by the horrors he had witnessed during his military service.
“I had PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), but I didn’t know it,” said Voepel, now an assemblyman representing eastern San Diego County in the state Legislature. “We didn’t know what it was. They simply said we were shell-shocked.”
Voepel enrolled in Grossmont College through the G.I. Bill and he credits his experience there with saving his life during that troubled time. He said having the goal of obtaining a college education, along with the support he received, helped him deal with the challenges he was facing.
Most importantly, he said, Grossmont College provided a place where he could connect with other veterans.
“I needed support and camaraderie with other veterans. Grossmont College provided that,” Voepel said. “I simply persevered. If a veteran gets up in the morning and perseveres, then they have a chance of success.”