Rachel Lajoie

Rachel Lajoie

When Rachel Lajoie stepped foot into her first English class at San Diego City College in the summer of 2005, it had been eight years since she last sat at a classroom desk. Despite having traveled the world on her own and working to support herself, she was intimidated by the thought of having to write an essay or solve a math problem.

Quickly, however, those fears melted away. Lajoie seized the educational opportunities she had at City College and graduated after three years with an associate's degree in biology.

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Adam Bogage

Adam Bogage

Adam Bogage, a structural engineer and commercial diver in San Diego, was in his late 20s when he enrolled at San Diego City College in the fall of 2001. He already had a history of work in the computer and electronics industry, but he was looking for new challenges, both academically and professionally.

"As a non-traditional student returning to academia, City College was an excellent fit for my schedule and budget," Bogage said.

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Christopher Perreira

Christopher Perreira

As an Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Kansas, Christopher Perreira is focused on teaching and serving students, especially first-generation college students and students of color. It's a mission that has a special significance for him thanks to his own experience at San Diego City College.

Perreira, a father of two, came from a working class background and took night classes at City College. Professor Kelly Mayhew remembers well how Perreira immersed himself in the study of English in her classes.

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Alberto "Beto" Vasquez

Alberto

Alberto "Beto" Vasquez may never leave San Diego City College. Although he graduated from the school in 2011, he's too busy ensuring that other students from underserved communities have access to the same sort of opportunities he had.

"City College was instrumental in changing my life," said Vasquez, who works with the City College Outreach Department and who has made it his mission to recruit more men of color into STEM education programs at the campus. "City College provided me the opportunity and support system to earn an education, to be in student leadership, to network with professionals. It's important to me to give something back."

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