College of the Redwoods

&

Humboldt State University

College Matters | ‘This year has brought us closer together’

This article was originally posted in the College Matters column of the Times-Standard.

Thursday, December 29, 2022 - 1:30pm

At the conclusion of this long year, I want to mark its end by saying that this year has brought us closer together in many ways and united us in our commitment to our students and our educational mission. We are dedicated to helping our students become independent, responsible, and productive citizens of their communities and this is true for all of your educational sites.

Our partnership with the Hoopa Career and Technical Education Program (HCATEP) at the Klamath Trinity (KT) site in Hoopa allows us to provide educational access and infrastructure to our more rural areas while creating community engagement and a sense of belonging that leads to success. Many of our graduates from the KT site return to work at the site and with the tribe, to ensure that others in the community have the same opportunity for educational success. I’d like to share some stories from our KT site that illustrate the great work happening there.

Misty Knight – Interim Education Director for College of the Redwoods Klamath Trinity and HCATEP Program Manager

Misty started at the KT site in 1998. At the time, she had a young child and was working at headstart. She wanted to look into other career options, so she took some EMT and early childhood education (ECE) classes at CR. She settled on ECE and graduated with an AA. She then went on to Humboldt State and got her bachelor’s in child development with a minor in American Indian education. From there, a master’s in early childhood studies from Walden University. She is currently pursuing a doctor of education degree at Walden and hopes to teach some classes at the KT site. She says that without CR, “I just wouldn’t have had the courage to attend college. This is the place that gave me that confidence to take classes and see that I could succeed.”

Matthew McKindley – Lead Academic Mentor and Advisor, Student Support Specialist, College of the Redwoods Klamath Trinity

Matt was a CR student from 2017 to 2020, and received his AA degree in behavioral and social science, with a certificate in addiction studies. He’s currently in the Cal Poly Humboldt social work program and will be graduating in the spring. He says going back and pursuing his education is one of the best decisions he ever made. “CR not only helped prepare me for the next stage professionally, it helped me realize my potential moving forward,” he says.

Joe Davis – Hoopa Valley Tribal Chairman

Joe started out at the Eureka campus in 2004, but circumstances led to him moving home to Hoopa. His goal was always to return to the coast but his family needed him in Hoopa. He feels it was a blessing to have the CR campus in Hoopa there so that he could still attend school while being near family. By 2009, he was able to graduate with an associate of science degree. He says “I got a lot of individual help from teachers, from staff, from the office folks, financial aid folks, and it was a really excellent experience. It gave me a solid foundation for future success.” He eventually went on to Humboldt State University and walked with the class of 2013. Shortly after that, he returned home to Hoopa and has been working with the tribe ever since.

Priscilla Masten – Resource Specialist for the Hoopa Family Resource Center

Priscilla graduated from CR with two associate degrees, behavioral and social science and administration of justice for transfer. She received high honors for both degrees and is now a resource specialist for the Hoopa Family Resource Center. Before CR, she also took classes from Butte and Shasta College. When asked to compare her experiences at other colleges with CR she says, “the main difference is that I had a lot more support here. I had family, I had friends, I had people I could go talk to on a daily basis about my schooling. I just had a lot of support surrounding me during my academic career.”

Ella Kane – Mental Health Clinician with Humboldt County

Ella graduated from CR in 2001, took some time off to be a mom and then went back to school full-time at Humboldt State in 2006 to get her bachelor’s and then master’s degrees. She now works as a mental health clinician with Humboldt County while pursuing her Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) certification. She says, “I’ve come a long way and I think that if I hadn’t had the opportunity here in my own community — because I was a single mom and I was young — it’s highly unlikely that I would have gone to the coast to pursue a higher education.”

With gratitude for those who have continued to support the KT Education Site, I am pleased to share stories that illustrate what can happen when we create an environment of support, encouragement, and challenge for our students. We look forward to many more years of partnership with HCATEP, providing students with the resources and guidance they need to achieve their educational goals and succeed in their chosen fields.

To all of you in our community, whatever you might be celebrating, whoever you are with, whoever you are missing, I want you to know we appreciate you and wish you a healthy and safe new year. May we all rejoice in the coming of 2023.

Dr. Keith Flamer is the president of the College of the Redwoods.