Tonight, Extended Opportunities Programs and Services (EOPS) and California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) will hold their annual award ceremony to recognize scholarship recipients and acknowledge donors. The evening begins with dinner and welcome remarks from Director of EOPS + CalWORKs Becky Reetz and Acting Superintendent/President Jonathan Eldridge. Student speakers Gloria Castillo, Shirene Misif, and Christina Herrera will share the impact these programs and scholarships have had on their lives, followed by the presentation of awards.
EOPS Association Scholarship Recipient
EOPS and CalWORKs Scholarship Recipients
Isabela De Souza
Graduates and Transfer Students
Isabela De Souza
Diana Pantoja Nunez
Vanessa Pintos Souza
Student Speaker Bios
Gloria was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the US in 1986 with her parents and siblings. She grew up in San Francisco’s Mission district and in her early 20’s, moved to Marin and fell in love with the county.
In addition to attending College of Marin, Gloria works for the Canal Alliance, a nonprofit organization serving the low-income Spanish-speaking immigrant community in San Rafael and surrounding areas. She started there as a volunteer and has since moved into the ESL (English as a Second Language) coordinator position.
In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her boyfriend in the national parks. She has visited nine national parks including Yosemite, Sequoia, Redwood National Park, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, and Mt. Rainier.
Gloria started at College of Marin in 2011 and is graduating with three A.A.’s this May. In the fall she will transfer to UC Berkeley to major in social welfare and minor in public policy.
Shirene was born in Amman, Jordan. Her family of six immigrated to America in May 1990 where they began their new life in San Rafael.
After high school, because of some family hardships, Shirene did not have the option of going to college like her peers. For 10 years she worked in a variety of jobs until one day she began working with a chiropractor and realized she was ready to pursue an education in health and wellness.
Shirene began attending College of Marin in the summer of 2013. A biology class early in her academic career fueled her ambition and path towards the Biological Sciences.
Three years later, Shirene has earned two A.A. degrees; one in natural science and the other in social and behavioral sciences. In the fall she will be transferring to one of the five universities where she was accepted. Her top choices are either UC Davis or UC Santa Cruz.
Christina was raised by her grandparents in a very small town in Monterey County. Christina enjoyed the close friendships she developed in that small rural community and was devastated to have to move to Marin County in the 8th grade. But she quickly fell in love with her new home and stayed there for several years.
In 2010, Christina moved to the East Bay to live with her boyfriend. Three years later, she was expecting a son, but she knew she had to get out of what she described as a “toxic relationship”. She left and decided to pursue a better future for her and her son by going to college.
Despite her 8th-grade level education, Christina completed her first semester at College of Marin with straight A’s, while simultaneously completing her GED. Her academic success at COM has continued, despite struggling with poverty and homelessness in the past few years.
Christina is majoring in Business and plans to transfer to Sonoma State University in a few years. Christina credits the staff and counselors in EOPS and CalWORKs as having a huge impact on her life and success. However, the staff and counselors will tell you that Christina’s resiliency, tenacity, and intense dedication to creating a better life for her and her son will allow her to achieve whatever she can imagine.