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Angela Derby's letter to MiraCosta
I started my college education journey here at MiraCosta in the 2011-12 term. I'm 48 years old and I have some physical disabilities. I started out with a 4.0 GPA and worked really hard. Somewhere, in between then and now, things started to get really difficult. It was already a challenge to be my age and attending classes where I was the oldest one in the room, sometimes older than the instructor.
Anyway, things started to get really bad the last year and half. I almost gave up. Towards the end of this semester I had all D's in every class. Financial aid was giving me one last chance and I was blowing it. MiraCosta employees and some of the students pretty much saved my life. The services that are offered on campus got me back on my feet and helped me so much that on Friday the 27th, I'll be walking at commencement getting my very first degree. I wanted to find a way to thank everyone who helped me get where I am today and I was told that you could help me get a thank you to the places it needed to go.
There are so many people and many departments to thank. I've used almost all services that MiraCosta has to offer. I wanted to thank all of them.
DSPS for everything they've done, to get me here and for just listening to me when no one else would. Soraya, you made me apply to get my AA degree so I had something to show for the 4 years I've been here. When and if I got discouraged again I could look at it and know that I can do it. Michelle, for putting up with my switching majors because I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. Abrey, you put me on the calender and got me in to see someone when I absolutely had to be seen. You answered all my silly questions with a smile.
EOPS, I could not have done any of this without you. Kate, Nancy and Larry who started this journey with me from day one and told me what I needed to do next. The peer advisors who let me make appointments just to get me to come to campus when things were really bad.
Testing, Lisa and Pamela, you believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. You let me work in the testing office and reminded me everyday that I was doing well. This last semester when I needed to use the proctoring center everyone in the office continually let me reschedule without saying a negative word. I think I had to reschedule every test because I scheduled wrong times and they conflicted with my classes.
Career Center, Julie Essman you got me the job in the testing office and you were my rock when things got really bad. You lent me your shoulder to cry on more than once.
The Health Center, wow! You are awesome. Between a swollen knee, problems with my family, couples counseling, and talking to the nurse when I had questions about my doctor's orders. You gave me answers and helped me figure out steps to take when my own health providers wouldn’t. The emergency crisis counseling you offer was what I needed sometimes just to get through the day.
Financial Aid, you made me work really hard to get this AA. Not understanding things became an issue for me last year and even though I was in there more often than most, you never hesitated to help answer the questions I asked even if it was the same question over and over. When I was not doing well you gave second and third chances. You made me jump through hoops sometimes but didn't give up. This degree wouldn't mean as much to me as it does right now. You made me accountable for my mistakes but allowed me to continue taking the classes I needed. That makes me appreciate this so much more.
The Scholarship Center, you helped me go over my personal statements and told me which scholarships to apply for and then congratulated me when I was accepted. You helped me take the steps to get there.
Instructors, the very first teacher when I started the first class four years ago. Going back to school after 30 years wasn't easy, but Deborah Duffy, you made it less scary and encouraged me so much. There were so many professors/instructors and campus employees that have, forever, impacted my life and made a difference in it.
This last semester had the potential to be the worst one ever. My educators didn't give up on me like some of the others had before. Steve Eso, you showed me how easy statistics really was. As you know, your class was the fourth statistics class I took and the only one I finished. You encouraged me and helped me catch up when I fell behind. Andrea Petri and Jeanine Sepulveda you also didn't throw in the towel. All of you let me come to you and worked with me to pass your classes.
The Library staff, you answered my silly questions as I spent seven hours a day, sometimes, you even let me use chargers when my phone would die.
The Language Lab, Rosy, Carlos and Dolores, thank you so much for helping me over the years.
The Writing Center and the Math Learning Center, I never would have done as well with my essays and math homework if you weren't there to help me.
The Book Loan Program and the Bookstore. How do you put up with people like me? I don't always remember that I borrowed books. You always politely reminded me and never charged me extra.
I spent many hours in the Cafeteria too thanks to those the cashiers who let me get through with an extra ranch.
The Police Department on campus who held on to my flash drives when I'd forget them in a computer many times.
The list could go on. There are way too many to mention all, but I want everyone to know how much they meant to me.
You've given me money when I couldn't pay for books, fed me when I was broke and hungry, gave me gas money when I had no way to get to school, got me discounts on public transit monthly passes, listened to me cry when I couldn't handle life anymore, told me I could when I knew I couldn’t. And you were right. I could do it and I did.
Finally, to Cheryl Broom, I went to for information on how to get my thank you letter out and you took it from there. Thank you all and to anyone I may have left out, you've made a difference.
I know this is really long and my plan was to just ask who I could send a letter to but, I guess it's you. Will you help me acknowledge all the people who helped me?
Thank you so much