[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
71°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 16
1872 - Sulphur Springs School District established by Mitchells and Langs [story]
T.F. Mitchell


| Friday, May 24, 2019
College of the Canyons graduate Mark Gray College of the Canyons graduate Mark Gray.

While college is a faraway thought for most junior high students, Mark Gray was not only thinking about college, but also saving up for it, too.

So, when the financially savvy 20-year-old heard about the College of the Canyons First-Year Promise program, which waives tuition and fees for new full-time college students during their first year of study, COC became the obvious choice.

“Getting the financial help for my classes was paramount,” said Gray. “My parents have helped me a little bit financially, so FYP made it easier so that I wouldn’t have to work full-time.”

With the help of his FYP counselor, Michelle Reina, Gray took on a heavy load of coursework in order to meet the additional prerequisites for the international business program at San Diego State University (SDSU), his dream school.

Ranked 12th in the nation (U.S. News and World Report), SDSU’s rigorous international business program has a competitive admissions rate, especially for transfer students.

“A lot of teachers told me, ‘Make sure you have solid backups because that is a hard school to get into,’ but I had my heart set on SDSU,” said Gray.

Gray, who loves traveling and learning about other cultures, was especially drawn to SDSU’s international business program for the opportunity to study abroad in Chile.

Undeterred, Gray took classes in the morning, worked the afternoon shift at Walmart, and would spend his evenings studying and doing homework. He took four Spanish courses to improve his intermediate conversational Spanish skills.

The business-minded student also started his own t-shirt business and began investing in the stock market. In the little spare time he had, Gray was an active member of the college’s Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda chapter.

Fortunately, Gray’s hard work paid off. A week after being accepted to California State University, Long Beach—his second-choice school—Gray went to his car during a work break to check his email for any news from SDSU.

“Scrolling through my emails, I thought, ‘Here is my rejection letter from SDSU,’” said Gray. “But it said ‘Congratulations! You have been accepted into the Class of 2021.’ It was the most exciting moment of my life. It was the culmination of two years of hard work. I am really happy that I got in.”

Gray, who will be graduating from COC on Friday, May 31 with a 3.4 GPA, credits his success to the college’s affordability and student services, such as The Learning Center tutors and helpful counselors such as Reina.

“He worked very hard taking advantage of every opportunity to him to help himself stand out while also taking heavy loads of classes each semester and still maintaining a competitive GPA,” said Reina. “His ambition and determination to succeed lead him to where he is today and I have no doubt he will do great things at SDSU and beyond.”

Gray plans on becoming a regional CEO for a company like Walmart or a business based in Latin or South America. The Valencia resident credits his success to the college’s affordability and student services, such as The Learning Center’s helpful tutors and counselors like Reina.

“I couldn’t be happier with the college,” said Gray, who will finance his SDSU education with his hard-earned savings. “I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.”

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Diane Rieger says:

    Proud of you! You are well rounded,and have a good head on your shoulders! As you have already experienced, you can do anything you want to do if you want it bad enough!

Leave a Comment


HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Friday, Sep 13, 2019
The California Legislature on Wednesday approved Senate Bill 206, the "Fair Pay to Play Act," authored by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and co-authored by Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita.
Thursday, Sep 12, 2019
The College of the Canyons Art Gallery presents “Angela Divina: Salsa!” from Sept. 16 - Oct. 24 in Gallery 206.
Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019
The College of the Canyons Career Center will host its annual fall Job Fair on Friday, Oct. 4, providing job seekers with employment opportunities in various industries and career fields.
Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019
The Kestner Gesellschaft presents Where Art Might Happen: The Early Years of CalArts, an exhibition dedicated to the institute’s infancy running from Friday, Aug. 30 - Sunday, Nov. 10 in Hanover, Germany.
Monday, Sep 9, 2019
The Sept. 11 agenda for the Santa Clarita Community College District's Board of Trustees business meeting has been posted.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1872 - Sulphur Springs School District established by Mitchells and Langs [story]
T.F. Mitchell
1970 - SCV voters recall two Hart School Board members who didn't let Canyon students protest the Vietnam War [story]
voting
1924 - SCV Deputy Ed Brown killed in shootout with Gus Le Brun [story]
Deputy Ed Brown
A bat left on a napkin on the doorstep of All Creatures Veterinary Center in Newhall on Tuesday has tested positive for rabies, the Department of Public Health reported Friday afternoon.
Rabid Bat Left at Veterinary Center in Newhall
Twenty-six years after Chris Beck left the diamond and etched his name in The Master's University baseball program's record books, his son, Jackson, will take the field for the Mustangs in 2020.
TMU Baseball Signs Jackson Beck, Son of Hall of Famer
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies detained an "uncooperative person" in Valencia Friday afternoon, according to station officials.
SCV Deputies Detain ‘Uncooperative Person’ in Valencia
College of the Canyons will look to rebound from its week one loss when the Cougars host Grossmont College in Week 2 action Saturday night in a non-conference contest.
Cougars Football Ready to Rebound in Week 2 vs. Grossmont
Despite having some chances, the College of the Canyons men's soccer team suffered a 1-0 loss to Moorpark College as the visiting Raiders were able to spoil the Cougars' 2019 home opener.
Canyons Falls 1-0 to Moorpark in Home Opener
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District has confirmed three additional mosquito samples positive for West Nile virus have been collected in two new areas: Boyle Heights and Whittier.
West Nile Virus Confirmed in Boyle Heights, Whittier
The city of Santa Clarita will host the 25th Annual River Rally Cleanup and Environmental Expo on Saturday, September 21, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., starting at the Newhall Community Center located at 22421 Market Street.
Sept. 21: 25th Annual River Rally Cleanup
To help keep kids safe, the California Highway Patrol is joining its traffic safety partners throughout the state for Child Passenger Safety Week, which begins September 15 and concludes September 21 with National Seat Check Saturday.
CHP Preps for Child Passenger Safety Week
Senate Bill 153 has cleared the California Legislature and the industrial hemp bill will now go to Governor Gavin Newsom for final action, the bill's author, Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced Friday.
Wilk Hemp Industry Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk
The California Senate passed a robust consumer protection law Friday that limits the amount of interest payday lenders can charge their customers.
California Lawmakers OK Cap on Payday Lending Rates
It was a regular day at work for employees at Jimmy Dean’s in Valencia on Thursday until several customers and employees were witnesses to a suspicious man near the restaurant who was removing his clothes.
Witnesses Share What They Saw Before Thursday’s Shooting
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau detectives are continuing their investigation of Thursday afternoon's deputy-involved shooting in Santa Clarita, according to an LASD update Thursday night.
Detectives Continue Deputy-Involved Shooting Investigation
With her bills approved by the Legislature, Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita) announced the status of her 2019 legislative package Friday.
Smith Bills Update: Seven Passed, Four Already Signed
Moving to keep children off websites like Facebook and Instagram, California lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill barring social media companies from opening an account for anyone under the age of 13 without receiving parental consent.
California Moves to Keep Pre-Teens Off Social Media
Sebastian Barrales Raymundo of Santa Clarita was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on charges of taking upskirt photos of four women, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Santa Clarita Man Charged with Taking Upskirt Photos
The California Legislature on Wednesday approved Senate Bill 206, the "Fair Pay to Play Act," authored by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and co-authored by Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita.
California Legislature OK’s SB 206, ‘Fair Pay to Play Act’
1964 - Fire fighters mop up after blaze in Bouquet Canyon that destroyed world's largest live oak tree [story]
fire
Longtime Agua Dulce resident Doreetha S. Daniels, who became the oldest person ever to graduate from College of the Canyons in June 2015 at age 99, died Sunday. She was 103. Services are pending.
Doreetha Daniels, COC’s Oldest Graduate, Dies at 103
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday the Latino Business Alliance Businesses of the Year Awards to Northeast Valley Health Corporation and Premier America Credit Union.
Chamber to Honor Northeast Valley Health Corporation, Premier America
As part of annual roadway improvements, the city of Santa Clarita will reconfigure two area streets to include a bicycle lane in both directions.
Road Improvements Scheduled for Plum Canyon Road, Smyth Drive
On Wednesday, Santa Clarita Sheriff’s COBRA detectives, assisted by deputies, detained several local high school students after learning about social media threats regarding committing acts of school violence.
Several Students Detained After Alleged Threats of School Violence
%d bloggers like this: