Student Mentors

Student Mentors

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Your success is important to us at Empire College. Read more about the student mentors that are here to help you succeed.

Amy
Accounting Student Mentor
Read more about Amy

I have been a bookkeeper for the last fifteen years for a Santa Rosa business. When I went to work there, I didn’t have any work experience in bookkeeping. I was trained by someone in the office who was the owner, but didn’t have any professional bookkeeping/accounting training either. I was good at my job, but never really felt challenged and always felt there was more to learn. After all those years, I realized I wanted to learn more about accounting and have my own business.

I came to Empire College to learn more about accounting and obtain a degree. In the past, I had turned in reports and other forms of information to the accountant who handled the business, but I wanted to know how it all worked behind the scenes. I have been here for the past fourteen months and have learned a lot. I have had many moments of “connecting the dots” where I have connected my previous work with the education and training I am receiving here at Empire College.

Derrick
Information Technology Student Mentor
Read more about Derrick

I’ve spent much of my life doing a wide variety of tasks before I decided to work on computers. When I was a kid, I was a model that worked on ads for Ford and National Geographic, and I was in the movie Bicentennial Man. When I got older I hauled brush for an arborist company, and then switched over to washing dishes and making pizzas for the Boar’s Breath restaurant in Middletown. I moved down here and started going to Santa Rosa Junior College and working as an Easy Tech Associate at Staples.

Coming to Empire College for Information Technology has been a game changer for me. I had experience with Cisco technologies, basic hardware training, and some bare bones networking training, but Empire doesn’t just make you dive in head first, it pushes you off the diving board and into the deep end. Which has been great for me. I always found the best way to learn was getting out of my comfort zone. That is why I am in the Specialized Associate Degree program with Linux as my concentration. I currently hold the CompTIA A+ certification, the CompTIA Net+ certification, the CompTIA Linux+ certification, and the Linux Professional Institute Level 1 certification.

Empire College has worked out well for me, as right now I do my own IT side work which is helping pay the bills while I look towards a better, brighter future after graduation. In my free time you can find me working on my next novel, playing video games, or at the local pub enjoying a brew with friends. I like to say I’m a social nerd. I love being able to break the barrier of the “Quiet IT Student” stereotype. So if you see me in the halls don’t be afraid to say hello, ask advice, or just have a chat.

Heather
Medical Student Mentor
Read more about Heather

I enrolled in the Medical Assistant degree program with a focus on phlebotomy in February of 2015 and had the pleasure of turning 37 shortly after. My expected graduation date is October 2016. I graduated high school a very long time ago and always talked about going to college. I am the mother of 4 beautiful children and that kept me busy and in the waitressing business for an extensive amount of time. I had some health issues and could not work. During my recovery I decided to just do it! I had the great support of my mom and friends. Empire was the first to contact me and not make me feel pressured to join. I liked that a lot. I came not knowing much of anything besides that I wanted a career. I always wanted to do more for people than serve food. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Being a single mother of 3 girls and 1 boy, I felt the responsibility to do the best that I can and prove that if you put your mind to it, you can do it!

All the teachers here are beyond supportive and approachable. Like family, you can literally talk to them about anything. They are a huge part of the support team. The tutoring center is AMAZING! Quiet to study in, ask questions, and possibly meet other people with the same questions. Form a study group if you need to. This school is so full of support. They understand that you can get discouraged if you get a grade lower than you wanted on the test. It happens. You only fail if you stop trying!

Grace
Business Student Mentor
Read more about Grace

I was born and raised in Santa Rosa and have been a stay-at-home mom for the last 8 years. Now that both of my boys are in school, I wanted to do something for myself. I decided to attend Empire because it works with my busy schedule, the classes are small, and it is just what I was looking for.

For the past two years I have been volunteering as a law-enforcement chaplain. I always knew that I wanted to work with law-enforcement and help as many people as I could along the way. As a student, I am learning all the computer and business skills I need to follow my dreams. It has been amazing, and I am so glad that I made the choice to attend Empire College.

Horacio
Information Technology Student Mentor
Read more about Horacio

I started off in computing at the age of 21 when I got my first computer, a Pentium 4 Gateway laptop (IN THE COW BOX). I worked maintenance at a resort for a number of years and decided to pursue my true passion, Information Technology. I decided to go back to college and learn IT. I took some programming classes at the JC but decided to get into networking, and now I’m at Empire College as your mentor and have my A+, Network+, Linux+, and two Microsoft MCP certifications (Configuring Windows 7 and Installing/Configuring Windows Server 2012).

I currently work at Calistoga Ranch as a technology specialist; I really enjoy it and look forward to my future career. I’m also a gamer and can’t stop playing Destiny and Diablo.

Jillian
Legal Student Mentor
Read more about Jillian

I hail from Pacifica, a small town just south of San Francisco on the coast. I originally journeyed to Sonoma County to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in History from SSU. Through my studies, I learned that I had a passion and talent for writing and researching. After I earned my BA, I was still yearning for further training and education and felt as though I was meant to be in the legal field. After 5 years, I had fallen in love with Sonoma County and was reluctant to leave. Enter Empire College!

I began my Specialized Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies in September 2013. I have learned, and am still learning, vast amounts of in-depth information about the legal system and am soaking in every minute of it. I am also currently an active member and vice president of ELSA. I would encourage any paralegal student whether new to the program, or a “veteran,” to seek me out for advice and/or any other questions they may have about the program, ELSA, instructors, law library, any research techniques, or assignments– I’m happy to help in any way I can!.

Jacqueline
Medical Student Mentor
Read more about Jacqueline

I am 30 years old and originally enrolled in the Certified Medical Assistant program, and I just recently made the switch into the degree program with a Health Information concentration.

I was enrolled at the Santa Rosa Junior College prior to coming to Empire College. My success there fluctuated, and I was never really sure of what I wanted as far as a career goes. Once I came onto Empire's campus and took a tour of the facility, I knew it would be a great fit. I simply picked the medical field to obtain a career in because it was the opposite of retail sales, where I held my previous jobs for the last twelve years. Thus far, having no prior knowledge of the medical field, my education at Empire College has been very rewarding and fulfilling. The teachers are extremely helpful, supportive, and most importantly, they want you to succeed. You'll find yourself immersed into your program very quickly, adapting to new fun and exciting teaching methods rapidly, and forming friendships with your classmates that are invaluable. You're going to go from zero to a hundred real quick, and it's going to feel great.
 

Jeanette
Legal Student Mentor
Read more about Jeanette

I chose the Paralegal Program because I find the legal field fascinating. As soon as I began school, I knew I had found something I would be good at and enjoy. I was born in Ventura, CA and grew up in Mill Valley. I am 28 and I am returning to school after 8 years. I graduated high school in 2005 from Oracle Independent Study in Marin County. After high school I worked to pay my way while I did part-time classes in general education at College of Marin and Santa Rosa Junior College. I took a break from school when I and my then boyfriend moved in together and soon after found out I was pregnant. I am married and we have 4 children now. I decided it was as good a time as any to return to school. I work nights cleaning medical buildings while my husband works days. School, along with all my other responsibilities, is a juggling act. I work hard because returning to school is a means of providing to my family what I never had growing up.

If you work hard and show that you want to be here, the instructors and staff will do just about anything for you. The feeling of being supported and cared for is a huge factor in my success and I hope to share that with my fellow students.

Leilani
Business Student Mentor
Read more about Leilani

I grew up on a large ranch along the rural coast of California. I have always been a very hard worker and finished high school early to attend Santa Rosa Junior College for two years. At 18, I was the manager of a small deli, and by 21, I was managing the retail sector of a multimillion dollar company; I now own my own business (and aspire to do great things).

I chose to attend Empire College after realizing, although I am very motivated to do a good job and have a strong work ethic, my computer and technology skills were lacking. Growing my business is my priority right now, and Empire College is helping me achieve my goal in a quick and efficient manner. I am taking full advantage of everything that Empire College has to offer.

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