My Citrus Story-Claudia Cervantes
As if they are now, and later they shall be.
When I graduated and received my diploma I was afraid to continue beyond high school. It wasn’t just that I was the first in my family to attend college or that English was my second language; I actually felt I didn’t belong. In fact, I was the definition of insecurity — lacking confidence, skills, and guidance to succeed.
However, upon enrolling at Citrus, that definition changed forever. I entered an environment where I discovered the support and the guidance I so desperately needed. I also found Dr. Dale Salwak who, more than being just my English professor, became my mentor and encouraged and inspired me to realize my hidden potential — a potential he saw long before I could. His simple message of “Just do your best” transformed my life and has helped me to achieve more than I ever dreamed possible. The magic happened when I started to see myself as Dr. Salwak saw me.
I graduated from Citrus with a 4.0 GPA and received the Key of Knowledge award before transferring to Cal Poly Pomona where I earned a BA in Political Science. I served as the 2008 class valedictorian, and during the spring of 2009, I became a special assistant to the president of Cal Poly. Having earned a bilingual History/Social Sciences teaching credential, I am now completing my master’s in education. My newfound commitment to academic excellence has opened worlds of opportunity. I was selected by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities to receive a prestigious internship in Washington D.C. working for Dr. Eduardo Ochoa, Assistant Secretary of Postsecondary Education. I am now pursuing both of my passions — education and politics. I’ve learned when you believe in yourself and strive to “Just do your best,” opportunities will come. Looking back, I never imagined how I would change as a result of attending college.
My sincere thanks to all who helped me at Citrus - and a special "Thank you" to Dr. Salwak for helping me find the magic in my life.
Tell us your story at www.citruscollege.edu/MyCitrusStory
My Citrus Story is funded in part by grants supporting the College Success program, and has been developed in cooperation with the Citrus College Foundation and the Citrus College Board of Trustees. Copyright © 2010, Citrus College