Sunday, June 30, 2019

Kristina Moore: Cuyamaca College graduate finds support needed to thrive


Kristina Moore
Kristina Moore embodies how Cuyamaca College’s Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) is impacting lives every day. Suffering from PTSD and living with extreme anxiety disorder since she was a teen, Moore has benefitted from the program’s counseling, priority registration, proctored exams and help with taking notes during lectures. Those services paid off June 6 when Moore walked across a stage for her associate degree in child development at Cuyamaca College’s 41st annual commencement. 

“I don’t think I would have finished, truthfully, had it not been for the services provided by DSPS,” said Moore, 25, who pointed out the skills and training she’s learned at Cuyamaca have led her to finding a full-time job working with toddlers and infants at a San Diego child care center. “School was really hard for a while, and these kind of services have made classes easier to manage.” 

Moore is among the 839 Cuyamaca College graduates from age 18 to 72 who make up the Class of 2019. They were awarded 1,202 degrees and 202 certificates.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges secure grants to expand online career education

Cuyamaca College's auto technology program
Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges have each secured a $500,000 grant to build online career education programs to train students with the skills needed for good-paying, in-demand jobs.
Grossmont College’s grant is funding a project that will allow students to earn industry-recognized certificates in high-tech areas ranging from computer science to advanced manufacturing. The project targets historically underserved populations in the East County, particularly first-generation students, English learners, women entering STEM careers, and refugees.
It will feature Siemens Corp.’s Industrial Networks Education Program and Rockwell’s Logix Certificate Program, and students earning certificates will be ready to fill staffing shortages in advanced manufacturing, water and environmental technology, health and healthcare management, and more.
“The grant will help us serve a critical need in our backyard and in the region,” said Dr. Javier Ayala, Grossmont College’s dean of Career and Technical Education/ Workforce Development.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Two from Grossmont College receive national scholarships for LGBTQ community college students

Two Grossmont College students are recipients of scholarships from the Point Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit.


Gigi Andrews, a psychology major, and Jasz Cabrera, a Theatre Arts student, are the only San Diegans among 25 recipients of the nationally awarded community college scholarship. 

The Point Community College Program is geared toward helping LGBTQ students fulfill their goals of attending a four-year college or university. Students accepted into the program receive between $2,000-$4,800 in scholarships, as well as admissions counseling, coaching and financial education at the Point Community College Transfer Symposium in Los Angeles. They also are able to connect to the Point Foundation network of LGBTQ scholars, and more than 300 alumni dedicated to seeing LGBTQ students succeed. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A proud day of joy and accomplishment


Cuyamaca College helps near-blind student focus on her goals


Maryam Abdul-Sattar, center,  with her sister, Laiba, right.
Maryam Abdul-Sattar hasn’t let her blindness or a perilous past as an Afghan refugee hold her back.

An honor’s graduate with an associate degree in social work, she is one of the 839 graduates who received more than 1,200 degrees and certificates at Cuyamaca College’s June 6 commencement. 

“I had no option except embracing my challenges in order to convert it into positive energy,” said Abdul-Sattar, 31. She described her life’s travails in a speech during a recognition ceremony for graduates of programs assisting underrepresented students. 

Born with visual impairments that worsened with surgeries and glaucoma as she grew older, the near-blind graduate credits the help she received through Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) for her graduating with a nearly 3.7 grade point average. She will be starting at San Diego State University in the fall. 

DSPS provides services such as note-taking assistance and test proctoring to students with disabilities and the high-tech center provides assistive computer technologies and alternative media formats for textbooks for students like Abdul-Sattar. Counseling services are also available to encourage and help students stay on a successful path as they advance in their education.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Mortarboards with a special touch a feather in the cap for many Grossmont College grads

Commencement is a day of celebration, but for some, the pomp and circumstance is more than they can afford.


Juliette Harrington with soon-to-be graduates Carlos Espinoza,
Mario Bojorquez and Angelica Rodriguez Valdez
For the past 15 years, longtime Grossmont College staffer Juliette Harrington has quietly paid for the caps and gowns of dozens of graduates who might otherwise not been able to participate in commencement. This year, Harrington, a Health Services specialist, wanted to help more students and thanks to a $500 grant from student government and a vendor who provided a sizable discount, 105 students received caps they can treasure as keepsakes and six will be provided loaned gowns, all for free, for the ceremony taking place at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Grossmont College Main Quad.

Among the cap recipients are students unable to take part in the time-honored processional because of job and personal commitments.