Many LMC alumni are working in our communities and having the time of their lives. You have every reason to be excited about your future, too – a college education will help prepare you for a lifetime of career success. Here we showcase a few of our alumni, with the hope that you find inspiration to fuel your journey to a great career!
George Mills, originally from Liberia, came to Los Medanos College guided by family members, and stayed because of the warm community, the atmosphere of success, and the tremendous instruction he received.
After receiving an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts at LMC, George transferred to CSU East Bay and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master’s in Public Administration. He began his career in higher education as a student assistant at LMC, spent many years working in Extended Opportunity Programs & Services (EOPS), and recently moved to Contra Costa College as Manager of EOPS/CARE & CalWORKS.
“I think it was mostly the environment at LMC that helped me succeed. It was easy for me to learn in a place where everything around you lends itself to an atmosphere of success – labs, great teachers, and personally the opportunity to work on campus so that I could give back.”
George was pivotal in LMC’s efforts aimed at strengthening support and increasing success rates for male students of color as they transition to college. He hopes to remain in academia, but, “if the non-profit world calls, the United Nations, or some other entity dedicated to humanity, I can see myself taking that step.”
Norma Cendejas immigrated to the United States from Mexico at the age of 16, already married and pregnant with her first child. She never attended high school.
“I came here as a migrant farm worker and all five of my kids were in the Migrant Head Start program. I enjoyed visiting the program’s center and volunteered in the classroom. I saw myself working as a teacher and helping those children and their families because I was familiar with the struggle they were going through.”
She enrolled at Los Medanos College and earned both a Certificate and an Associate Degree in Child Development, as well as an Associate Degree in Behavioral Science.
“LMC provided a positive experience for me. I never had any serious obstacles, but rather, had very good professors and counselors who helped guide me throughout my education.” One benefit was the opportunity to work in the College’s Child Study Center, where I felt a sense of belonging and community with my classmates and mentors. The experience was a significant step in my professional growth.”
Norma now works as a site supervisor for El Concilio, Council for the Spanish Speaking, serving low-income families who work in seasonal/agricultural jobs. She is a senior at CSU East Bay – studying Human Development, with a focus on Adolescent Development – and hopes to graduate in Spring ‘16.
You might say the desire to be a teacher was something Morgan Livingston was born with. Okay, so her mother is a high school teacher, and her dad was a professor, senior dean and even interim president at LMC. Yes, a bit of family influence, indeed! Now, Morgan is an adjunct professor at Cal Poly and loving life as she fulfills her dreams.
“I attended LMC,” she shared, “primarily because my dad worked there and because my whole family firmly believes in the community college system. It just made logical sense to save money and get the same quality of education at a 2-year as I would get at a 4-year.”
“Being a part of the LMC Honors Scholars Program was key for me. While there, I found a strong mentor and a supportive community. The honors classes were very rigorous. The program put me on the college track so when I transferred over to UC Santa Barbara, there wasn’t that big of a jump at all.”
Morgan chose to transfer to UC Santa Barbara, influenced by the energy she found there while on a college tour. They also had an Honors program, in which offered Honors Housing and the opportunity to develop new friends far from home. After earning her BA in Literature/English, Morgan went on to complete her MA in English/Literature at Cal Poly, where she continues to teach. Yes, she is living her dream!
Jeff Lemler found himself, in high school, fairly apathetic and without any concrete goals for the future – often a common feeling among youth that age. Eventually, after 12 years working in restaurants, he discovered his passion. One day he had an epiphany at work while carrying a tray of drinks: “I like cars. I’ve always liked cars. I’ve always worked on them as a hobby. Maybe I could do it as a career!”
Jeff chose LMC’s Automotive Technology Program because it was affordable. Once he took his first auto class, he was hooked. He found the instructors to be extremely knowledgeable. The program features a live auto shop – serving real customers with cars in need of repairs – where students get hands-on work experience. This helped Jeff not only with tech skills, but also with real work environment skills. He loved his classes and wound up earning every auto tech certificate offered at LMC.
Five years later, Jeff is proud to be a master technician for Lexus! He feels the LMC Automotive Technology Program gave him the knowledge, experience, and confidence to become a great automotive technician – enabling him to achieve his goals and build his dream career.
For more stories of success at LMC, visit www.losmedanos.edu/successstories.