[Aug 2013 | No Comment | 2,081 views]
Fields of Dreams

More than 70 percent of students at Pacific Oaks College are the first in their families to receive a college degree. We explore some of the first-generation success stories at Pacific Oaks and discover how breaking the higher-education barrier can transform a community.

Like many immigrants before them, Yolanda and Graciela Lopez came to America on a parent’s dream to give them a better life.

“We were born poor. If you want to succeed, you need to work hard in order to reach your goals and succeed in the world,” Baldemar Lopez would tell his seven young daughters after spending long, hot days picking chili peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables in the fields of Monterey County. “I brought you to a country that offers you an opportunity for an education. Now it is up to you to take advantage of it.”

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History Commences

Graduation caps were sparkling with decorations, families were cheering and the Pacific Oaks community was celebrating as commencement festivities ushered in two major milestones for the institution.

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Honoring a Legend

The Pacific Oaks community came together on April 9 to honor longtime advocate and supporter Maureen Donnelly Carlson. A former faculty member, trustee, Pacific Oaks Children’s School parent and grandparent, Carlson was the recipient of the Second Annual Living Legends Award.

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Journey 5 Steps to a Transformation

While searching for a career path in his 20s, Andrew Smallman volunteered at a Big Brothers organization near Seattle, counseling a wide range of children in need. “A big light in the sky kind of went on,” says Smallman. “I felt like I was doing what I was meant to do.”

[Aug 2013 | No Comment | 12,983 views]
Fostering Hope

Even though Wendy Read bought her first house when she was 20, earned her pilot’s license, and had her own airplane—thanks in great measure to her success as an actress—she did not feel a sense of fulfillment.

[Aug 2013 | No Comment | 2,910 views]
Freedom of Expression

When Michelle Dakan, a professional artist and printmaker, took her first tour of the outdoor art studio at Pacific Oaks Children’s School 14 years ago, she was stunned at what she saw. “The whole space felt like a natural extension of the outside world,” she says. “I was completely inspired.”