|Tommie Post, center, with Wei Zhou, interim president|
Cuyamaca College, and John Valencia, foundation CEO
Tommie Post was raised to believe that going to college and earning a degree was critical for success in life. She hasn’t been disappointed. The Cuyamaca College scholar, who attended four different primary schools and moved more than 10 times during a childhood plagued by poverty, is on track toward earning an associate of science degree and transferring to San Diego State University en route to becoming an environmental engineer.
Post was among the 128 Cuyamaca and Grossmont College students honored during Sept. 11scholarship ceremonies hosted by the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges.
In many ways, Post, 19, is Cuyamaca College. Though struggling financially, she has never hesitated to help others, and for three years helped raise money and run a booth for the Santee Relay for Life. She also helped established a LEO club – a youth organization of Lions Club International – at Santana High School, from which she graduated with honors. Her career plans include working toward developing the technology and infrastructure needed to build a stable source of water for a thirsty and drought-stricken California.
She said she turned to engineering for two reasons, including a favorite teacher at Santana High School. The other reason?
“The permanence of engineering,” said Post, who has lived a life that has been marked by impermanence. “If you’re a chef, you create something and people eat it and it’s gone. If you’re a teacher, you educate someone and they move on to better things. But if you build something, it doesn’t leave. It’s permanent. I like that.”
Post, who is active in the the UP! (Unlimited Potential!) program for former foster youth or individuals raised in kinship care, credits the faculty and staff at Cuyamaca College with helping her to reach her dreams.
“The school has great resources and a wonderful counseling staff that provides you a roadmap showing what you need to do and what classes you need to take to get to where you want to go,” she said.