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  • Juan Soto Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges

    A student at both Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, Juan Soto dreams of transferring to a University of California or California State University campus, earning a bachelor’s degree in music theory and launching a career as an educator working with public schools to develop strong music programs.

    Those dreams would be dead if it weren’t for the Grossmont-Cuyamaca College Promise. “It would have been hard going to college without the Promise,” Soto said.

    Instead, Soto is the first in his family to go to college.  A percussionist who also plays the keyboards, Soto is well on his way toward reaching his dream; he performs with the Cuyamaca College Concert Band and has immersed himself in music theory and more.

    “The music programs at both Grossmont and Cuyamaca are great,” he said. “And the people are here to help you.”

    One of four children, Soto, is living with his single mom who works a pair of low-paying jobs to make ends meet. When he heard about the Promise while attending Monte Vista High School, Soto said it made the decision to attend college a big ‘no-duh’ and eliminated the need of having to work full time, which would have diverted from his studies.

    “The Promise gave me an opportunity,” Soto said. “An opportunity to go to college.”

  • Elianna Floyd CUYAMACA COLLEGE

    Elianna Floyd heard about the Grossmont-Cuyamaca College Promise while she was in high school. She knew it would cover all of her enrollment fees, but what she wasn’t expecting was the academic counseling and support services that ensured her freshman year at Cuyamaca College would be a success.

    “The support services helped a lot,” Floyd said. “I knew what classes I needed, so I wasn’t wasting any time in taking anything wasn’t necessary.”

    Having a solid education plan and access to tutoring and counseling has helped the El Cajon resident stay on track with her plans to transfer to Cal Poly Pomona, where she hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree in animal science.

    All in all, Floyd said she couldn’t be happier with her decision to seek a cost-free education at Cuyamaca College.

    “I’ve only had good relations with my teachers, and there’s an excellent range of classes to choose from,” Floyd said. “I’m glad I came here and I’m grateful for the Promise program.”


  • Quincy Hollings Grossmont College

    Quincy Hollings found himself at Grossmont College. A product of an impoverished neighborhood and raised by a single mother, Hollings said the backing he found at Grossmont College has set him on a path toward becoming an English teacher. “If I were to describe myself with one word, that word would be resilient,” Hollings said. Read more. 

  • Brooklyn Lopez Cuyamaca College

    Brooklyn Lopez could write a book on overcoming adversity. Growing up without a father, raised by a mother struggling with alcohol and substance abuse, Lopez had to learn housekeeping at a young age. The former foster youth is now an honor student at Cuyamaca College on track to earn an associate degree toward her goal of a career in finance or accounting. Read more.