Student Stories

Overview

Student Stories

Students are our best indicators of success.

We are continually inspired by the ongoing dedication demonstrated by our students and alumni, whether they are enrolled in professional development courses, learning English, pursuing innovative training methods or fulfilling the lifelong dream of earning a college degree.

These stories are living examples of how the support we provide can make a positive impact on people’s professional development and academic career.

Photo gallery

World Language Day 2017

Students in the English Language Institute (ELI) share their language and culture with other students at Sacramento State in celebration of World Language Day.

Jessica Jarrety, a photographer with the College of Continuing Education, captured memories of the day, November 14, 2017, in this photo gallery.

Student Success Story
Steve Taketa

Steve Taketa
Leadership for the Government Executive

Leadership for the Government Executive (LGE) reached a milestone in 2017 by celebrating its 25th cohort graduation. Steve Taketa, bureau chief in the California State Controller’s Office, was among the graduates and credits LGE for making him a better boss.

He shares his experience in this video.

Spotlight
Photo of Wendy La

Wendy La

Education: 
 - Sacramento State, Second Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, 2016
 - UC Irvine, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Social Behavior, Minor in Education, 2015

“I knew I wanted to work with kids, and I can work with them one-on-one.”

Spotlight

Around the World: Ye Zhu

Name: Ye Zhu
Major: Child Development
Country: China

“Making friends from all over the world and exploring cultural differences will break stereotypes.”

Ye Zhu, 25, had a bachelor’s degree in preschool education from China when she entered the English Language Institute (ELI) at the College of Continuing Education. She needed to strengthen her language skills for the next step in her journey.

Spotlight
Photo of Yuanhao "Franz" Lzu, China

Around the World: Yuanhao “Franz” Lzu

Name: Yuanhao “Franz” Lzu
Major: International Trade
Country: China

“American society changed my mind about freedom. Your mind must be free.”

Yuanhao “Franz” Lzu said he “dreamed of coming to America, to see the real America” as a boy growing up in China.

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Sacramento State President Thanks Paramedic Student

Sacramento State President Thanks Paramedic Student
Wil Stewart Described as 'the Perfect Sac State Student'

Sacramento State Paramedic student Wil Stewart dashed to join his family, taking his front row seat at the University Union as an honored guest of Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen.

Wil had just finished two local media interviews - one for CBS13 and the other for Fox40 - and promised another interview to KCRA, but he needed to take his seat with the President preparing to go onstage for his 2017 Fall Address.

Student Success Story

William Stewart
Paramedic Program Student

William Stewart’s training kicked into action when he heard a man choking and saved his life. Wil, who’s a firefighter and a student in the Paramedic Program, was waiting to be interviewed for an internship in San Luis Obispo when he saw the man in distress. Wil’s heroics made national news with the story picked up by the Associated Press, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Sacramento Bee, Fox 40, CBS13 and other media outlets. Will tells the College of Continuing Education the attention was “a little overwhelming.” 

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Sac State’s Apprenticeship Program Tallies Success
Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program Serves as a Model

Progress Report 6 Months After the Graduation

Graduates from Sacramento State’s first apprenticeship program have completed all of their requirements and all 17 have received their pay raise and promotion. Six months after their graduation, interest in the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program continues to grow, with a labor association inviting the College of Continuing Education to return and report on the apprenticeship’s success at its statewide conference in September.

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Workforce Development Professionals Boost Their Careers
Mayor-Elect to Graduates: 'I love this, I can't tell you how much I love this!'

Sacramento’s new city leader saluted the graduates of an innovative apprenticeship program at Sacramento State. These apprentices don’t work in the industrial trades, like most apprentices, but in workforce development. They’ve learned new skills to put Californians back to work. 

Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg spoke at the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program graduation and said graduates, like Megan Bailey, have an important role to play in the city’s growth.   

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Testimonial: Workforce Development Professional
Brandon Anderson: 'The program was a true turning point in my life'

Brandon Anderson studied music and vocal performance with dreams of becoming an opera singer. But with a sluggish economy and orchestras barely hanging on, he went in search of other work. He unexpected found a new audience to inspire when he became a job coach for people with disabilities. His work earned him a spot in the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program.

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Testimonial: Workforce Development Professional
Matt Hidalgo: 'The program has empowered me to succeed'

August 2017 Update: Congratulations Matt!

A year ago, Matt was a job coach going through the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program. He was hired by the California Workforce Association as a program manager coming out of the program. He just received his first-year evaluation and he continues to impress his boss. Matt has been promoted to a program director and received a nice raise too. 

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Testimonial: Workforce Development Professional
Ira Ayers: 'We've learned economic development'

Ira Ayers played football in high school and college and later coached a high school football team. He was a natural in his career as a job coach, but he never received formal training until the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA) selected him for the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program. And there, he discovered his ability to “grow and change.”

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Multimedia Journalism Summer Academy 2017
Teens Capture and Narrate Videos for the First Time

Anyone can shoot a video on a smartphone. But not everyone can produce a video that captures your attention and leaves a lasting impression. High school students rose to the challenge during the 2017 Multimedia Journalism Summer Academy at Sacramento State. Their assignment: “Tell Your Video Story in 100 Seconds!”

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Testimonial: Workforce Development Professional
Megan Bailey: 'I feel I have the capacity to be a workforce leader'

As Megan Bailey went through the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program, her background as a graphic artist and her nine years as a job coach paid off. Before the program ended, the California Workforce Association (CWA) hired her and two other apprentices as program managers to handle workforce development issues on a statewide level. 

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Leadership for the Government Executive: 25th Cohort

Leadership for the Government Executive: 25th Cohort
Co-Founder Clark Kelso Calls for 'Courageous Leadership'

A signature leadership program in the College of Continuing Education reached a milestone in 2017. Leadership for the Government Executive (LGE) celebrated its 25th cohort graduation in April.

“Our graduates improve government in California” and stand out as “more valuable and attractive candidates for promotion,” said Clark Kelso, one of LGE’s co-founders and an associate dean at McGeorge School of Law, who delivered the keynote address.

Spotlight

Chilean Couple United by Wine and English
A Love Story: Victor Moreno and Joceline Ampuero

At 45, Victor Moreno led a comfortable life in Chile as an operations director for his country’s second-largest wine producer. He managed three factories, traveled to wine regions around the world and got engaged. And then he decided to quit his job.

“My dream was to study English” in America and get a master’s degree in business, Victor explained to his family and friends. And to his fiancée. “It was a big decision to move to the U.S.,” he said, and a huge sacrifice on her part.

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Nelsen: “Amazed by his tenacity”
With President Nelsen's Support, Rodolfo Castillo Wins Multiple Awards

Rodolfo Castillo finished his bachelor’s degree through a long-distance program at Sacramento State later in life, in his 70s, in order to keep teaching preschool.

This achievement has been recognized within the Sacramento State community, the western United States, and now nationally.The University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) has named Mr. Castillo the 2017 Outstanding Continuing Education Student.

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Eleonor Castillo adjusts her father's cap at a reception at Sacramento State, honoring students who completed their bachelor's degree through a long-distance program. (College of Continuing Education/Risa Knight)

Sac State Graduate Wins National Continuing Education Award
Rodolfo Castillo: 75 Years in the Making

Update (Feb. 14, 2017): Mr. Rodolfo Castillo has been named the 2017 Outstanding Continuing Education Student by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), following a nationwide search.

Mr. Castillo was previously recognized as an Outstanding Nontraditional Student in UPCEA’s West Region, covering institutions in the western U.S. and Canada.

Student Success Story

Graduate Turns Trauma Into Triumph

Coral Connor may only be in her 20s, but this Sacramento State speech pathology graduate has already found a mantra to live by. “I think turning your trauma into triumph is something a lot of people can relate to,” she says.