When I was preparing to graduate high school, I was faced with several offers from four-year universities, including scholarships and grants that would cover 100 percent of my tuition. I looked closely at the numbers: I could either begin my college experience at a highly ranked UC school with classrooms as large as 500, or I get a more personal education at my local two year school in a classroom of 25. I chose the latter. I figured that I could always transfer to the university later; I might as well pick up a two-year degree on the way.

Not only did Grossmont College help prepare me for my future career, they offered specialized technical courses that weren't offered at any four-year university. Getting into classes that I needed for my transfer wasn't a struggle. The instructors were passionate and always had time to assist every student. While I was taking lower division courses for a transfer degree, it gave me an opportunity to choose what I was most interested in before committing to a major.

I've become such an advocate of community colleges that, over a decade after I first enrolled at one, I began working at one. Today, I am the social media marketing specialist for Clackamas Community College and I have the honor of watching students' lives get changed by the community college experience every single day.