Updated: May 27, 2020
Live Your Dreams at Citrus College
Economically disadvantaged students at Citrus College can participate in programs designed to connect them to a network of resources.
Apr 27, 2020 10:28 am PT
(Azusa/Glendora Chapter of Soroptimist International)
By Dr. Barbara Dickerson, Citrus College Governing Board Member
Citrus College is consistently voted the best community college in the San Gabriel Valley by readers of Beacon Media News and the Southern California News Group. The reasons are obvious: we offer 67 different associate degrees, 83 certificates and skill awards in career technical programs, and help thousands of students transfer to prestigious universities and enter the workforce each year.
While this is certainly remarkable, my favorite aspect about Citrus College is that economically disadvantaged students can participate in programs designed to connect them to a network of resources.
Citrus College students Sharayah McNeil and Melisa Edwards can certainly attest to this.
Both decided to enroll at Citrus College because of the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program, the state's welfare-to-work program for families with children. At Citrus College, the CalWORKs program works in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services to assist students, such as Sharayah and Melisa, with education, training and job skills. As single mothers, both Sharayah and Melisa were grateful that CalWORKs helped them with child care and completing county paperwork. CalWORKs also provided them with referrals to community resources.
One such example of a community resource is the Azusa/Glendora chapter of Soroptimist International, a global volunteer organization that provides women with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.
The Azusa/Glendora Soroptimists recently presented Sharayah and Melisa with $2,500 scholarships each as part of their Live Your Dream awards. The two students were invited to a special luncheon to share their stories in front of an audience and network with Soroptimist members and previous scholarship winners. Sharayah and Melisa were elated and proud – both of them qualified for the scholarship due to their academic performances and referrals from their counselors.
"The support system that Citrus College has in place for its students is beyond helpful," said Sharayah. "I found myself taking advantage of private counseling sessions and talking often about my feelings of uncertainty. Also, the Live Your Dream award helped me to not feel strained about my economic situation. Being a college student and a single mother has its difficulties – this helped lighten the pressure, and I am so grateful."
As Azusa's representative on the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees, I am pleased to share that Sharayah recently made the Citrus College dean's list and plans to graduate in fall 2020, and Melisa is planning on transferring to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, in spring 2021 to pursue a bachelor's degree in business administration.
When you enroll at Citrus College, you are not just another student in a classroom. You are welcomed into a supportive community that genuinely cares about your success. So, I implore you – whatever your current situation, consider Citrus College and begin living your dreams!