Sophia Forde has lived in San Lorenzo Valley in Santa Cruz County most of her life. For her entire primary and secondary education, she was home-schooled. At a young age, she enjoyed the flexibility to focus on the subjects that most interested her and the challenge of managing her time efficiently and getting everything done. She enrolled at Cabrillo College her first semester of eighth grade. Ever since her first history class at age 14, she has been enthralled with history ever since. Studying history, she has learned how to analyze trends and the evolution of forces that shape society. Sophia graduated last fall with an Associate of Arts in History. She has been accepted to several UCs including UCLA, and is still waiting to hear back from out-of-state private Universities. For her continuing education, Sophia is interested in studying Urban Planning. In her view, history provides a great foundation for this field of study, and urban planning will allow her to help address and plan for some of the issue we face today and in the future.
For Sophia, attending Cabrillo College has been an invaluable experience. "There is endless support for anyone who wants to be involved". She was impressed with how dedicated and passionate the faculty are about teaching and providing extra support to the students. While a senator for the Student Senate, she helped develop a Textbook Committee that put in place some initiatives to help alleviate the heavy cost of textbooks, like renting textbooks, and an increased allowance for the library to buy more textbooks for students to use. She also lead the Democrat’s club and participated in the Cabrillo College Honors Transfer Program.
"At Cabrillo College, there is a lot of respect for students who come from all different backgrounds. It doesn't matter what you choose to get involved in. It's most important to take advantage of the resources available to you. When you show commitment, the faculty are there to help you. Apply for financial aid and all scholarships available, and use those resources to help yourself succeed."
Theo Offei is an international student from Reggio Emilia, a town in Northern Italy. In Spring 2009, he moved to California and began attending classes here . He is currently majoring in Political Science and is the President of the Student Senate at Cabrillo College.
Back in Italy, his parents encouraged him to work hard so that he could go to college and get a good education. During a 2 week exchange program, he visited Cabrillo College and realized it would be a perfect fit for him and soon moved here to pursue his dream.
Theo is impressed with the affordability of Cabrillo and the availability of support services, as well as the dedication of the faculty members here. Ever since Barack Obama became president, he is inspired and driven to be involved in politics. He feels that, regardless of someone’s race or background, anyone has the power to make a difference. To help spread the message, he has been presenting at high schools, as a part of "Dream Big, Think Big". In his presentations, he highlights education as a top priority and as a means to make positive contributions. Theo started as a sentor-at-large and soon became Student Senate President in Spring 2010. Although there are many challenges ahead of Cabrillo and community colleges in California, in light of this state budget crisis, he is committed to encourage senate members to work together to be active advocates for the students they represent.
"Never let anyone tell you you can't do something. Your dreams and potential can be realized at a community college at an affordable price. Later, you can transfer to any University if you choose to."