This is part of an occasional series on successful former Cuyamaca and Grossmont students.
Sara Bendrick, the star of a 13-episode show on the DIY network, began her career as a landscape architect by taking classes in ornamental horticulture at Cuyamaca. She calls Brad Monroe one of her mentors.
“The community college gave me a great experience and the time to explore courses,” Bendrick said. “It was affordable and I took classes I was interested in.”
Bendrick took courses at Grossmont to get enough units to transfer to California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. But it was the Cuyamaca classes that cemented her interest in plants and led to a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. She has worked as a professional landscape designer for large commercial projects and private residents, and launched her own business, Sarita Landscape Design, earlier this year.
In January, she participated in a nationwide talent search for a pilot project on the DIY network, which will be called, “I Hate My Yard.” She is set to begin filming the first segments in January 2013.
A promo for the show states that the host "whips unruly outdoor spaces into shape -- no matter how bad -- with economical, yet clever, landscape designs."
“I haven’t seen any other schools with what Cuyamaca’s horticulture department has, hands-on experience and it’s quite an awesome program,” Bendrick said. “It was a foundation that allowed me to explore career opportunities.”