A C H I E V E M E N T 3 Graduate Plans to Give Back by Providing Guidance to Students After graduating from Palm Desert High School, Emmanuel Casillas started working at the J.W. Marriott as a banquet server. His mother and older brother, who had been his role models while growing up in Mexico and eventually Palm Desert, also worked in hospitality in the CoachellaValley. Emmanuel looked around at others at work, pondered his long-term future and realized he wanted something more. His older brother had encouraged him to seek an education and urged him to go to College of the Desert. “It’s never too late to get back on track,” says Emmanuel, who regularly speaks in inspirational quotes.“It’s not impossible, but you have to work for it.” Emmanuel is the first in his family to attend college and was able to do so because of generous scholarships from The Community Foundation and Cardenas. He was able to succeed at COD because of inspirational professors like psychology professor Chris Jones- Cage, who helped guide him. Despite working two jobs, Emmanuel, 20, was able to graduate in May 2017 with an Associate Degree in Psychology after five semesters at COD. He now attends California State University Chico, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in education. He plans to become a high school instructor or counselor – whatever position enables him to mentor young students like himself to believe in themselves and to pursue a higher education. “If you stay positive, there’s very little that can stop you,”he says of his advice to others. Just before graduation from COD, Emmanuel helped his older brother fill out an application to attend College of the Desert, the mentorship now coming full circle. “Sometimes you just need a little push,”Emmanuel says.“YOU CAN do it.” Emmanuel Casillas speaks at the College of the Desert Foundation’s 2017 Scholarship Reception. COD Inspires a Career for Radio Personality College of the Desert opened up a whole new world for Mike Mozingo. If it were not for College of the Desert and KCOD, he would not currently be a host on MIX 100. “I always secretly dreamed of being on the radio, but I didn’t know where to start,”the 2012 graduate said.“After working in retail for 13 years, I was abruptly laid off and found myself searching for a new and exciting career. I had always wanted to be on the radio, but didn’t think there was path to a career in radio in the CoachellaValley.” ThevalleynativebeganhisjourneyatCODaftergraduatingfromPalmDesertHighSchoolin2001. “I was a full-time student for three semesters, but couldn’t find a subject that I really connected with, so I began working full-time,”said Mike, who achieved his Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. “I would fit classes into my schedule where I could, but didn’t really know what I was working towards until I heard that College of the Desert had a radio station. As soon as I could, I signed up for‘Writing forTV and Radio,’and‘Intro to Radio,’which as it turns out, were two classes that would earn me enough credits to graduate.” While honing his skills at KCOD and producing his“Alternative Stew Show,”which won an International Broadcasting System award, Mike began an internship at RR Broadcasting. “In under three years, I was able to go from unpaid intern to morning show host, and it would not have been possible without COD,”he said.“Not only did their radio classes help me focus on the important skills that I would need to be successful, but having access to KCOD and being able to produce my own show gave me the confidence to sit in front of a microphone and open up to the world.” Mike was excited to welcome KCOD to the local airwaves in May 2017 as the college radio station, a gift to the College from RR Broadcasting owners Ric and Rozene Supple, began broadcasting live at 1450 AM – further expanding work experience opportunities for students who staff, produce programs and run the station. Mike Mozingo