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Savannah Sandoe

"I never could have dreamed I would be where I am now, so when things get rough I remind myself of everything I have accomplished so far, and of all the great things I am going to do."

I grew up in Florida and moved to Arizona eight years ago. When I was young I was homeschooled and we didn’t have much money, so college always seemed like a pipe dream. For a long time circumstances prevented me from pursuing higher education, but a year ago I decided to begin working on a college degree which was a difficult decision as I have no financial help from the outside. I have continued to work while in school, and mainly rely on scholarships to pay for my classes and books. Despite the difficulties, being a college student has been a rewarding journey so far as I’ve always loved learning and being in school has given me so many new opportunities to grow.

I initially chose to attend Mesa Community College (MCC) because it was close to where I live and most importantly, affordable. However, after attending college here for a year and learning more about the Maricopa Community Colleges, I have come to appreciate just what an excellent institution it is, and I feel very fortunate indeed to attend school here. MCC, and by extension all the Maricopa Colleges, have become more than just a pit stop on the way to my master’s degree. They have come to feel more like a family.

I’ve received the Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise scholarship as well as the MCC Honors Program award, the All-Mesa Academic Team award, and a State Farm Emergency Scholarship for students facing hardships. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to earn scholarships, as they are the reason I am able to stay in school.

I’m pursuing an associate degree in Recreation Management. In two years I will be transferring to Prescott College (PC), for an Adventure Education degree. Due to affordability I am doing the 90/30 credit agreement with Prescott College, and will only be attending there for one year + a summer semester. PC is the college of my dreams and I can hardly wait to attend.

I have three jobs. I like to say I have my day job, my night job, and my weekend job.  For my day job I am a student worker at the Center for Community and Civic Engagement at Mesa Community College. I spend most of my time helping students with service learning paperwork and directing them to helpful resources, as well as staffing the events and community service projects the Engagement Center puts on. My weekend job is a Recreation Leader at the Environmental Education Center in the city of Chandler. I help run events such as concerts, camp outs, and festivals, and when school is out I work at the Nature Camp educating children ages 6-12. My night job is as a Delivery Driver for Domino’s, which is exactly what it sounds like. I would really like to drop this job so I can have more time for school but I can not afford to do so.

I want to spend my life educating people about our environment and wild places, while also enabling them to have fun! There is so much out there to be learned, and I want to learn it all and pass it on to others. My dream is to someday be an interpretive ranger at one of the national parks, or a wilderness guide. Wherever I go, I know I will never stop learning and teaching.

Mesa Community College, Scottsdale Community College, State Farm Insurance Emergency Fund