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I arrived at Fullerton College by accident. I was supposed to enroll at Cal State Long Beach, but I failed Algebra III, and my admission was revoked. I was devastated, because it felt like my college dreams were crushed.

On my first day of classes at Fullerton College, my perspective changed. It is still the best learning community I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing, my launching pad. At Fullerton, I wore many different hats. I was involved in the Theater Department and helped lead the Fullerton College High School Theater Festival under the direction of Bob Jensen and Chuck Ketter. I wrote plays and they were performed at Director’s Fest and nearby StagesTheatre. When I decided I wanted to pursue writing seriously, I transitioned from the Theatre Department to the English Department and began writing a column for The Hornet, as well as editing the Local page.

At Fullerton, you really could do anything. In a community so willing to give back whatever you put forward, it was hard not to succeed. Joe Carrithers taught me to analyze great literature. Claudia Stanger told me she wanted a signed copy of my first book, she just knew it would happen someday, she said. Chuck Ketter taught me how to be a leader. Bob Jensen showed me the value of word choice. Jay Seidel allowed me the space to write what I wanted. These individuals were the soul of my experience, each of them mentoring me in ways I could not have expected. I grew up at Fullerton College.

When I was there the library had just been completed and the science building was still ancient. The Theatre patio was the place to hang out between classes, and the cafeteria was a tiny two room shack. I had a great group of friends, and we called ourselves “The A-Team.”

Now, I am completing my Master’s in English at Cal State Fullerton. Two of my short stories have been published, and I am completing my first manuscript. You cannot expect where life will take you, but I am so glad I ended up on the corner of Lemon and Chapman.