Student Experience at College of San Mateo
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Richael Young
Richael Young University of Illinois, Environmental Engineering Richael Young never wanted to be an entrepreneur. Growing up, she saw firsthand the struggles her self-employed parents often faced. From swings in revenue to never being able to take a day off, running their business was challenging. Richael knew that her path would be different because she wanted more stability in her career. But things didn’t work out quite as she expected.
Divi Kumar
Divi Kumar UC Berkeley, Engineering “After I graduated from South San Francisco High School, I wanted to attend CSM so that I could sharpen my fundamentals and learn how to be a good student,” says Divi Kumar, a CSM alumnus. “I didn’t have the opportunity to attend a four-year university straight out of high school, so I decided that I would transfer instead.”
Stephen McReynolds
Stephen McReynolds Stanford University, Management Science and Engineering Stephen McReynolds was 12 years old when the United States was attacked on 9/11. “I grew up watching news coverage of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I felt like I needed to do my part,” he says. Stephen enlisted in the United States Marine Corps a year after high school and began his service when he was 19. He served as an infantryman for six years, with tours of duty in Afghanistan and the Pacific.
Sarah Lowe
Sarah Lowe UC Davis, Biology I loved my experience at CSM,” says Sarah Lowe, who first stepped foot on CSM’s campus as a concurrently enrolled high school student. By the time she graduated from Mills High school, she had already earned eight units of college credit and completed several college requirements. Her decision to continue at CSM as a transfer student was easy. “CSM has a great atmosphere and the people are so nice! Because I was familiar with the college and understood what professors expected, I knew attending CSM and transferring to a university was the right path for me.
Jennifer Menjivar
Jennifer Menjivar San Jose State University, Human Resources Management My first semester was a complete blur, as I was getting used to being around students of all ages, finding my way around campus, and jumping through hurdles to get financial support for my studies. A friend suggested that I check out Extended Opportunities Programs and Services (EOPS). I honestly feel that this program is what launched the start of a new passion! I remember meeting with my EOPS counselor and figuring out my educational plan. At the time, I had no goal other than to learn business. She explained to me that I should pursue an associate’s degree for transfer. I clearly remember saying transferring wasn’t for me but she said she would mark me down as a transfer student, in case I changed my mind. With that being said, my next two years were planned and all I had to do was register for classes and check them off my list.
Jennifer Vara
Jennifer Vara UC Santa Barbara, Psychology & Sociology As a student at San Mateo High School, Jennifer Vara put her summers to good use. She attended summer session at College of San Mateo through the College Connection - Concurrent Enrollment Program. Over the course of two summers, Jennifer completed classes in U.S. history, ethnic studies, psychology and yoga. In addition to receiving credit toward high school graduation, she earned 13 units of college credit and gained a big jump on her college education. “Attending CSM when I was still in high school was a good experience all the way around. I liked the classes, the professors and campus, and I completed several college requirements,” says Jennifer.
Dee Dee  Pickard
Dee Dee Pickard Stanford University, Social Psychology After earning a degree from the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, professional singer Dee Dee Pickard built a successful career in the music industry as a vocalist performing in corporate bands, doing studio work and sessions and teaching voice. When Dee Dee, a single mother, moved from Los Angeles to the Bay Area, she was ready for something different. “After a break of six years, I decided to go back to college. I researched schools in the Bay Area and when I visited CSM, I really liked the campus and more importantly, it felt like the right place for me.” After getting her daughter settled in a local school, Dee Dee enrolled at CSM and immersed herself in the role of college student.
Brad Martens
Brad Martens San Francisco State University, Radio and Television For Brad Martens, work is just another day at the park – AT& T Park, that is. Brad, a CSM alumnus, made a successful transition from production intern to full-time digital media coordinator with SFG Productions, the San Francisco Giants’ production company. Within a short time, he has accumulated some highly impressive hardware to go along with his success, namely, two Emmy Awards and two World Series rings!
Julianne Hough
Julianne Hough University of Kansas, Dance and Communication Studies Since the age of five when Julianne Hough slipped into her first pair of dance shoes, dance has been a consistent thread in her life. Throughout her elementary and high schools years, she studied dance at ODC - Oberlin Dance Collective in San Francisco. Later, her path led to CSM where she continued to cultivate her passion for dance.
Rupinder Grewal
Rupinder Grewal UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business Rupinder Singh Grewal, a graduate of Capuchino High School and native of India, says that attending CSM was the best experience of his life. At CSM, Rupinder found opportunities within his reach that would have been unattainable had he attended a university straight out of high school. When he arrived on CSM’s campus, Rupinder became involved in several student organizations that helped him grow personally and intellectually. He joined Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society and soon became a student leader in the organization. “PTK quipped me with the tools necessary to broaden my horizons, both academically and socially. Through my participation in PTK, I was continuously surrounded by passionate, thoughtful and goal-oriented people.”
Joshua Yeager
Joshua Yeager Claremont McKenna College, Economic Business Joshua Yeager decided to attend CSM right out of high school because the private schools he was accepted to were extremely expensive. Also, after researching those schools and learning more about himself, Joshua realized none of those institutions were the right fit. He says, “I was not comfortable with the amount of debt I would have when I graduated. As a business major, I knew this was not a good idea.”
Stephen Kadash
Stephen Kadash College of San Mateo, Fire Technology Stephen Kadash says participating in community service projects during high school inspired him to pursue a career that would allow him to serve his community on a daily basis. The dream job and career goal for this Redwood City native was to become a firefighter. “Being a firefighter is a career that gives me the opportunity to help someone who is having one of the worst days of their life and they are depending on me and the rest of the crew to help them.” Knowing the increased competition for jobs in fire service and the demand for more educated applicants, Stephen took the first step toward his career goal by enrolling at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In 2012, he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in forestry and natural resources.
Efrosini Proios
Efrosini Proios UC Berkeley, Molecular and Cell Biology After completing high school in Greece, Efrosini Proios decided that California was where she wanted to continue her education. Arriving in the Bay Area, she began exploring the wealth of college and university options the region offered. Efrosini recalls, “I visited CSM’s campus and it seemed like a beautiful place to go to school. And, I learned the college offered many different majors, lots of activities and had some of the best professors in the Bay Area.

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