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Faces of Success

Leslie Dennis
Kelly Stastny
Kelly Stastny, WCC DSPS Program
I started at WCC in the spring of 2010. I thought my time at WCC would never end, but this coming May I will be graduating with my associates degree in math and natural science. With this degree, I want to pursue a career in public services or nursing. Coming right out of the military and going to community college, I was a little bit lost. My counselor, DSPS and the Veterans program all supported me when I faced the many challenges of returning to school.

Whenever I have questions, I am able to approach staff, especially the friendly people in the DSPS office. DSPS does everything they possibly can to help me and other students succeed here at woodland Community College. I would recommend both DSPS and the Veterans program to all students who may qualify for their services.

I’ve also been able to work at the DSPS office as a student worker. I have been working here a little under a year now. I find the job very rewarding because I now get to help other students out who may be struggling in school.

For more information on WCC’s DSPS program:
For more information on WCC’s Veteran’s program:


Yared Berhane
Yared Berhane
Yared Berhane, WCC DSPS Program
When I enrolled at Woodland Community College, I had no clue that I would major in biology or any science field. I initially focused on taking classes I enjoyed the most. I always feared science courses. I always tried to run away from them. My second or third semester in school, I registered for the basic biology class (Bio 15). The course material was very different than any other courses I took. The class was like a foreign language because I had no idea what was going on. Somehow, it caught my attention and I liked it a lot because it was interesting to me. Even though I failed, I took it again and passed it after a couple of tries. One mistake I made during the first few semesters was that I didn’t take taking advantage of the Tutoring Center and other resources to help me. I am thankful for all the resources at WCC including Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS), Financial Aid, academic counselors, EOP&S, MESA, International Student Association, the Tutoring Center, the WAM Center, the ARC Center, and the library. All these resources helped me succeed and increase my GPA. Since I made the decision to use WCC student resources, my grades have improved significantly.

My motivation to succeed in my education is myself, my family, and the woman who brought me to this world, my mother, as well as my father who is looking after me from up above. I would like to be a positive role-model for my girlfriend’s kids and hope that my legacy of success in education will influence their success. My siblings and hardships have also motivated me to push forward. In the future I would like to pursue biology at Sacramento State and get my B.S degree. After that, I’d take my M-CAT, attend medical school, obtain my medical degree, and become a physician.

I used to think science and biology were hard majors, but they are not if you are dedicated, disciplined, and determined. Life has so many ups and downs and challenges that come our way. The best way to overcome them is by never giving up, fighting through it, never showing weaknesses, and never running away from your problems because they will always appear and haunt you. For example, if you have learning disabilities, anxiety, or other disabilities go to DSPS and get tested. They can help. If you are having a hard time with studying go to the WAM Center, the Tutoring Center, the ARC Center, MESA, or the library. If you are having a problem with math, go to the Math Success Pathway Center. Woodland Community College is not a large school, so it’s easier for professors at WCC to work one-on one with students. In addition WCC faculty and the librarians go out of their way to help students succeed. WCC provides a lots of student resources to help students in their success, but overall it’s the student’s choice to make that decision and change.

My older brother once told me, “Opportunity doesn’t come to your front door and knock to say I am Mr. Opportunity I came here to help you.” He told me, “To get something in life you have to work hard to get it.” In life, to be successful, you have to want it, own it, be hungry for it, chase it, and sweat for it! Great and good things in life are not easy to get. Once you achieve greatness your whole aura will glow and shine. Once it glows and shines you have become successful.

For more information on WCC’s DSPS program: http://wcc.yccd.edu/student/DSPS/default.aspx
Jolene Torres
Jolene Torres
Jolene Torres: Academic Reading Center Instructional Associate

My name is Jolene and I’m a Language Arts Instructional Associate—which is really just a fancy way to say “reading tutor”—here at WCC. Anyone who’s talked to me knows that I have two favorite things: reading and helping students. I’ve helped Prof. Strode, and the English department at WCC, establish a program we fondly call The ARC or The Academic Reading Center. The ARC has a few distinctions that I’m so very proud of:
  • The ARC is for more than reading: we can help with improving study skills, test preparation, taking better lecture notes, understanding and improving vocabulary, and so much more!
  • The ARC offers FREE drop-in reading assistance to any student, at any reading level, for any subject; every student can get the reading help they need at any point in the semester, even during finals!
  • The ARC is THE QUIETEST place on campus. Have noise sensitivity? Need to get away from the crowd? Or just want a peaceful moment to collect your thoughts? The ARC is the place for serenity and silence while you study for your next exam.
One thing I hear students say often is “I know how to read. I read Facebook or the news everyday...I don’t need reading help!” Reading academic texts—like textbooks and peer reviewed journals—is very different from the kind of reading done in everyday life. In fact, reading academic texts is just one kind of literacy that even “good readers” can struggle with. By asking questions, identifying goals, and establishing reasonable expectations students can and will find their reading and studying improve, and continue to improve over the long-term. My goal is to help “bad readers” realize that they, too, can be “good readers.”

The best advice I can give to students is: ASK FOR HELP. Ask for help early—before you need it!—so you know where to go when you do need it. Learn what support services are offered and find out where they are and what they do.

For more information on WCC’s Academic Reading Center:
http://wcc.yccd.edu/academics/reading-center/default.aspx


Barbara Mitchell
Barbara Mitchell
Barbara Mitchell: Academic Reading Center (the ARC)
The ARC has been the reason I've done so well in school. I've learned a lot about study time, mapping, and outlining. I didn't do too well last semester (fall 2012) but now I have a 4.0 thanks to the ARC and Jolene. Also the Tutoring Center here is wonderful and all the people there are so helpful. They will help you and guide you in the right direction. The teachers here are awesome, too, especially Donna Bahneman. They make time for you and really do care about you succeeding.

For more information on WCC’s Academic Reading Center:
http://wcc.yccd.edu/academics/reading-center/default.aspx
Rebecca Bodary
Rebecca Bodary
Rebecca Bodary: Academic Reading Center (the ARC)

The ARC support program has helped me in many ways. For one I learned to outline. Jolene's reading class at the ARC gave me some studying tips for my Human Services classes. I also got a lot out of the tutoring services. The staff is very kind and they have awesome tutors. If it wasn't the fact I had a very patient tutor last semester (fall 2012), who walked me through things, I don't think I would have gotten a 4.0. I just want to say thank you to Jolene and the staff at the ARC and people at the Tutoring Center. I also had one awesome instructor: Donna Bahneman. She is very helpful and caring.

For more information on WCC’s Academic Reading Center:
http://wcc.yccd.edu/academics/reading-center/default.aspx
Harley Simmons
Harley Simmons
Harley Simmons: Math Success Pathways
Sweaty, shaky, nervousness is what I always experienced when I heard the word “math.” When I knew I had to register for the Math 50 course, anxiety consumed my emotions and as I stepped into the classroom on the first day, I already set myself up for failure. I knew I could not afford the math text book, owning or renting it, and everyone I knew that was knowledgeable in the subject was busy. I thought I was in the dark, until Mr. Chetra mentioned the beautiful book program (Math Success Pathways) that was just starting. This program let me rent a textbook for the whole semester, but the catch was I had to attend tutoring two hours a week.

My time was already being taken by three more classes and I wasn’t sure if I was able to attend. Fortunately the tutoring center was flexible and I got a time that was very convenient to my class schedule. After the first couple of weeks of tutoring, there was an exam coming up. Feeling the tension come back, my tutor helped me with my review and made me feel confident. One exam down and an A as my grade, I became very confident in my math skills. At the end of the semester, I passed the class and the dreaded final and soared my way into Math 52.

I’m very grateful for the book program with helping me conquer my fear of math. My anxiety has gone way down and my finances are not in jeopardy due to trying to purchase the textbook. The tutoring center has been very helpful and flexible with my schedule and the atmosphere in the room is wonderful. There are many tutors willing to help any student and other tutor that has a problem. They are all about teamwork and exhortation. Those key components are what helped me become a very successful math student. Thank you Mr. Chetra, Loretta and all of the tutoring center staff!

For more information on the Math Success Pathways program, contact Talwinder Chetra at tchetra@yccd.edu. s

Jessica Cortes
Jessica Cortes
Jessica Cortes (Math Success Pathways)

The (Math Success Pathways) book program has made a difference in my success as a student because it allowed me to get help from a tutor at least 2 hrs a week and also helped me get help on problems I didn't know how to work out or have questions on. Before the book program I didn't use this resource which now has made a difference in my studies then before. The most valuable thing that I've learned is that time management is key. If I didn't put at least 2-8 hours of working with my tutor every week I wouldn't have made it through the semester. I would recommend the book program to other students because not only is the book free as long as you keep going to tutoring till the end of the semester but you also learn better with the help of a tutor.

For more information on the Math Success Pathways program, contact Talwinder Chetra at tchetra@yccd.edu.

April Heras
April Heras
April Heras: The Tutoring Center
The Tutoring Center is a great program for ALL students. Whether someone is struggling or doing really well in their classes, the Tutoring Center improves a student’s study habits, performance in class, helps to stay organized, and keeps a student motivated and guaranteed to have a higher score. The Tutoring Center has made a big difference in my performance in my classes, especially Statistics. The center has helped me stay organized, prepared for class, aided me be to me more solidified in all statistics. A great and friendly staff and tutors. J The most valuable thing I have learned from working with the Tutoring Center is that anyone is welcome to receive help. No one is too good to get help from others.

For more information on the WCC Tutoring Center: http://wcc.yccd.edu/academics/tutoring-center/default.aspx

Elizabeth Orozco
Elizabeth Orozco
Elizabeth Orozco: The Tutoring Center
The Tutoring Center has made a huge difference in how I have performed on my quizzes and exams. It has prepared me since day one that I started my Statistics class. Tutoring has helped me stay on top of all my Statistics work. It helps when one has a great tutor which I did (Maike Pitts). The most valuable thing I’ve learned from working with the Tutoring Center is that all students can come get help. It does not make you weak; it helps you succeed / motivates you to do better. I would recommend students to right away sign up and not wait till you’re failing your classes to get tutoring. It helps you get organized and be prepared for class.

For more information on the WCC Tutoring Center: http://wcc.yccd.edu/academics/tutoring-center/default.aspx
Fernando Monreal
Fernando Monreal
Fernando Monreal: The Writing & Math Center (WAM)

The Writing and Math Center (WAM) has made an important difference in my academic life. I could not go through all my English classes without the help of WAM tutors. WAM was an essential tool that helped me to improve my academic abilities in math as well as it helped me to develop my English skills and do better in all these classes. I owe a big percentage of my academic success to WAM because its tutors are so qualified; they have many years of experience helping students in English and math. They transmit their knowledge to students making students have success. Rosalinda, a WAM English tutor, has always been willing to help me any time. Her tutoring has improved my English skills, and she has always helped me in my English essays, giving me the opportunity to get excellent notes; due to this my grades in English classes have been increased, allowing me to get a good GPA. I strongly recommend WAM to all students because this tutoring center makes a difference between being an average student or being a student with success.

For more information on WCC’s Writing and Math Center:
http://wcc.yccd.edu/academics/writing-center.aspx
Delia Zamudio
Delia Zamudio
Delia Zamudio: WAM, CALWORKS, DSPS
I remembered when I started my journey at WCC in the Fall of 2006. Being a single mother of four children, not speaking English, and getting older (35 then) was not easy, but my strong desire on having a better life and hoping to offer a better future for my children made me pursue my career. I started taking ESL (English as a Second Language) classes with Prof. Galamba, who encouraged me to take regular English classes. He helped me gain confidence in taking that important step that would lead me to get my first AA Degree in Child Development and my general education classes. I reached that goal in 2010.

I just got my second BS in Human Services last May 17, 2013. I should say that I am doubly happy for the fruits of my hard study habits, dedication, perseverance, and of course the people who were always there for me to help. It is important to mention that because I just moved from Mexico to the United States in 2005, and took just a couple of classes every semester, It took me longer to get my degrees.

During those precious years at college I met great teachers, like Jeannine Mullin, who was very sensitive and encouraging with ESL students. She helped me to realize that in despite of all the obstacles I encountered, with courage and perseverance, I could be a preschool teacher, as I wanted. I am happy to say that I did it!

I was very receptive to any suggestion about getting extra help to succeed in my classes. I first went to WAM (Writing and Math Center) where I met great people, such as Rosalinda Martinez. She and other teachers were always there for students like me who had to learn everything about the new language (English). There, I found a nice place to study, a computer lab, workshops, and kind people who helped me with my papers.

I had the great opportunity to be part of the CalWORKS program. It helped me with scholarships opportunities, education plans, program reviews, and individualized counseling. I also had career opportunities by gaining experience, and developing new skills, while making some money. That is how I started working as a Student-Teacher at WCC Child Development Center, working with children. Actually, I still work there, now as a substitute teacher. This program also provided important resources, such as grants for books, school materials, and other stuff that always helped me to succeed in school. They guided me to other services and programs we had on campus as well.

The DSPS (Disabled Students Programs and Services) was of great help for me. It offered, for students who qualify, special accommodations, such as reserving a seat in front of the class, taking the tests in the office, etc. It also offered priority registration dates, computer lab, a place to study, etc.

For more information on WCC’s Writing and Math Center:
http://wcc.yccd.edu/academics/writing-center.aspx

For more information on the CALWORKs program:
http://wcc.yccd.edu/student/calworks/default.aspx

For more information on WCC’s DSPS program: http://wcc.yccd.edu/student/DSPS/default.aspx

Veronica Torres
Veronica Torres
Veronica Torres, MESA Program Director
College isn’t easy. When it comes to struggling in a class, students often don’t know where to go. MESA is an academic preparation program aimed at students who are STEM-based (science, technology, and engineering) majors. We offer a Student Study Center, computer lab, and study space for students to both work and collaborate. Among the many services MESA provides student s are academic planning, useful workshops for STEM courses and college life, field trips, university campus tours and events, scholarship and internship information, and leadership development.

MESA offers Mentor Study Groups with the goal of “grouping” students enrolled in the same STEM courses. A roomful of students with different learning styles, questions, and a common goal can be a powerful thing. Some of our own MESA members also volunteer as Peer Mentors and are available for tutoring in various STEM courses! It is great to see students who come in needing a little extra help in a class, who work with classmates to figure out problems, and in the end find out not only can they learn, but also teach.

We strive for a space where students feel welcome, can ask for assistance without hesitation, and can create lasting bonds and relationships on their way to success. So whether you need a place to type up an essay, want to meet up with peer s for a study group session, or just want to hang out in between classes, the MESA Center welcomes you.

For more information on WCC’s MESA Program:
http://wcc.yccd.edu/student/MESA/default.aspx
Cristian Camarena
Cristian Camarena
Cristian Camarena: WCC MESA Program
Being the first person in my family to attend college, my fears and doubts were always greater. At first, I did not know what direction to take because my pride kept me from asking for help. Even though I fell many times, I was able to hang on to my dream. I had chosen to major in Biology, since my dream had always been to be a pediatrician. Being a doctor not only requires being smart in many subjects, but also involves leadership, passion, motivation, and humility: qualities that regular classes do not teach.

I found the MESA program after walking for so long with blinded eyes. MESA has helped me to acquire qualities to overcome the many challenges of college. MESA is a program that challenges a person in order to help exceed in one’s career. MESA has also helped me to put my skills into practice by giving me a chance to pass on my knowledge to other students, find my talents, and find a family that has the same goal as mine. Moreover, MESA has helped me to be persistent and not let myself be defeated. MESA has not only guided me, but has also opened new doors with exciting opportunities.

For more information on WCC’s MESA Program:
http://wcc.yccd.edu/student/MESA/default.aspx
Janeen Barbarick
Janeen Barbarick
Janeen Barbarick: WCC MESA Program
I was encouraged, blessed, and highly motivated through the MESA program. I love being around a bunch of great people.

For more information on WCC’s MESA Program:
http://wcc.yccd.edu/student/MESA/default.aspx
Kris Williamson
Kris Williamson
Kris Williamson: WCC MESA Program
MESA has helped me by giving me opportunities to help me advance in my school career.

For more information on WCC’s MESA Program:
http://wcc.yccd.edu/student/MESA/default.aspx
Michael Njoku
Michael Njoku
Michael Njoku: WCC MESA Program
MESA has given me access to better study tools to help me succeed in classes.

For more information on WCC’s MESA Program:
http://wcc.yccd.edu/student/MESA/default.aspx
Uyen Nguyen
Uyen Nguyen
Uyen Nguyen: WCC MESA Program
The MESA Center has given me an environment where I can gather with others to study.

For more information on WCC’s MESA Program:
http://wcc.yccd.edu/student/MESA/default.aspx
Sergio Melara
Sergio Melara
Sergio Melara: WCC MESA Program
Thank you so much for letting me be part of MESA, it has really helped me in many ways!
"Always fight with love, passion, and dedication for what you want."

For more information on WCC’s MESA Program: http://wcc.yccd.edu/student/MESA/default.aspx
Robert Clark
Robert Clark
Robert Clark, WCC Tutoring Center Student Tutor
I personally tutor Accounting, BCA, Economics, English, & Math. But tutors are available for almost every class offered at WCC. My goal in tutoring is to make sure the student understands the concepts of the particular section they are dealing with at the moment, not just to complete homework. Because I am so much older than the average student at WCC it gives me a chance to connect with the younger generation. I also get a sense of satisfaction when you can see the progress of students especially the moment the light bulb goes on and everything starts making sense!

All of the people involved with tutoring try to help the students know that there is no shame in seeking help for your classes. In fact, most of us have taken advantage of this support ourselves. By using the tutoring center it shows initiative and a strong desire to be successful on the part of the student.

Visit the WCC Tutoring Center webpage (http://wcc.yccd.edu/academics/tutoring-center/default.asp) for more information.