Liz Dorantes started at SBCC in 2019 after graduating from Dos Pueblos High School. It turned out to be a challenging time to go to college, as the pandemic hit the following year, but she persevered and graduated in 2021, earning two degrees—one in Administration of Justice, Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T), and the other in Sociology, Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T). She transferred to UCSB and will graduate in the fall of 2023, with plans to pursue a master’s degree in education.

“I was fortunate to be an SBCC Promise student during my first two years at SBCC. Without it, I would not have gone to college,” Liz said. “As a first-generation student, it was hard for me to navigate college, and the thought of paying thousands of dollars for classes, starting fresh out of high school, did not seem realistic. With the Promise, everything was paid for. I was fortunate to not to have to work to pay for my classes, which allowed me to focus on school. It was a privilege.”

Liz explained that the excellent classes at SBCC and the ability to explore various areas of study were important to her educational journey. She initially planned on pursuing a law career, but changed her mind after taking courses in education. “I enjoyed meeting all my teachers and building relationships with them, which inspired me to want to do that for others.” Liz said.

“Luckily, I took various classes at SBCC to find out what I wanted to do, which helped me save time and money at UCSB. I recommend exploring different courses to anyone who’s still deciding what major they’re interested in.” She is excited about the fact that she will graduate from UCSB a year early, thanks to all of the preparation she received at SBCC.

“Being a first-generation student and transferring from a community college to a four-year institution was difficult. But it was achievable with the help of amazing programs at SBCC, such as EOPS (Extended Opportunity Programs and Services), the University Transfer Center, and my fantastic teachers. An important takeaway from my story is that when things get tough, keep going forward!”

Liz says one of the things she enjoyed about SBCC was meeting so many people with different backgrounds.

“The diversity of people who come to SBCC stood out to me, as it shows that college is for everyone. Through EOPS, I met so many amazing people who want everyone to succeed, regardless of their background. Without this program and their excellent staff, I would not have been so successful at SBCC. EOPS provided me with numerous resources that made my college experience smoother, such as tutoring, a space to study, snacks, great counselors and advisors, and so much more!”

Some of Liz’s favorite classes were in the administration of justice and math departments. She says that “any course with Dave Saunders and Anne Redding is the best! They’re so kind. They want to see their students succeed, and provide them with the tools to do so. Also, Pam Gunther in the math department is amazing! She know so much, and helps her students become knowledgeable, too.”

Liz added that she would like to thank everyone at SBCC for providing such an incredible college experience and for all the support she received. “Without it, I could not see myself graduating from a four-year institution.”

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