GoGirl! Grant Recipients

Tiana Aguirre-Ortega

Tiana Aguirre-Ortega

Tiana is a single mother of three.  As a young mother, she attempted to continue her education after graduating from high school, but found it very difficult to focus on school when she knew she needed to work to provide for her family. Fast forward to 2016 and Tiana recognized the value of furthering her education. That fall she applied to College of the Desert as a full-time student. While enrolled as a full-time student and working full-time as a legal secretary, Tiana has discovered a passion to help people, especially in regard to labor laws. She graduates COD with an AA in Justice in Summer 2019 and plans to transfer to CSUSB to continue her studies. Her ultimate goal is to become a legal translator for the court and will continue to move forward until she reaches her goal.

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Makeyli  Alvarez-Marroquin

Makeyli Alvarez-Marroquin

Makeyli Marroquin was eight years old when her parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico to provide her family with a better future. It wasn’t until two years later that she and her two younger brothers were able to join their parents in the        United States. She learned English and when she was able to, she started working after school at a gas station in Thermal to earn an income and continue her education and attend college. She enrolled at College of the Desert in 2012 and continued to work part-time to pay for her expenses. After a car accident prevented her from staying in school, she found herself working at a gas station once again and knew she wanted more. In 2016 she registered for the Administrative Office Professional course at the School of Career Education. As a result, she was hired by Spotlight 29 Casino as their Community Affairs Administrator. While working for the casino, the Tribe offered her the opportunity to work for their nonprofit organizations. She has also become the primary contact for the Board Members and the Tribal and Casinos Health Benefits Assistant and she loves it! She is currently enrolled at College of the Desert and plans on obtaining her General Business Degree in order to become a more valuable asset in her current position.

She has always been motivated by the phrase; “Get yourself educated”. Looking at all of the great opportunities she now has, she has realized that she needs to follow her passion of exploring and learning more each day.

Michele Barfuss

Michele Barfuss

Michele Barfuss was born and raised in Palm Springs and loves the Coachella Valley.  She is the first in her family to earn a college degree. She has studied at College of the Desert, California State University San Bernardino and has also obtained her real estate license.  Working with new home buyers reach their goal of becoming ‘homeowners’ for the first time has given her a great feeling of accomplishment.  It was through helping her clients navigate the unchartered waters of real estate transactions that she came to realize what her true calling is. She is now a second-year law student at California Desert Trial Academy.  Her goal is to graduate in three years, take and pass the California General Bar Exam and remain in the Coachella valley and practice real estate law. CDTA has a limited means legal clinic, La Reina Legal Clinic, where she can do pro-bono work for indigent clients.  She hopes to participate in this program and continue to give back to those that call the Coachella Valley ‘home’ and to make a difference in her community.

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Keosha Campbell

Keosha Campbell

Keosha Campbell – After graduating with her Associates Degree in Nursing from College of the Desert in May of 2020, Keosha is continuing her studies at Grand Canyon University to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  As a registered nurse, she feels her options are limitless.  Her interests range from emergency nursing to the field of forensics where she can one day care for victims of assault, domestic violence, neglect and other heinous crimes.

In 2007 Keosha became a medical assistant and in 2009 began working at Loma Linda University.  The hospital’s mission statement is ‘To make man whole’ which she has adopted as her own personal statement.  At Loma Linda she works closely with veterans and feels it is a privilege to aid in improving their lives by providing exceptional healthcare.

Keosha is also involved in volunteer outreach programs in the Coachella Valley.  She works with the Veteran’s Association and helps conduct food drives.  Staying involved in the community and lending a helping hand where she can is important and meaningful to her.

Keosha truly envisions dedicating the remainder of her life to those in need and to healing individuals who are broken.

 

Briana Jandt

Briana Jandt

Briana aspired to a higher education from a very young age. After personal struggles and many roadblocks along the way, Briana was able to move forward and is excelling in her college journey, maintaining a 4.0 GPA at College of the Desert.  She had the honor of being one of two student speakers for the 2020 College of the Desert Commencement Ceremony. Now, Briana is a full-time student at CSUSB PD and has completed her first semester in the nursing program.

In addition to her college success, she has also maintained weekly involvement in her local community.  She is a leader in a ministry with Southwest Church and is able to walk alongside other women who are struggling and has the opportunity to share the hope and freedom she has found. As a single mother of a young daughter, life is beautiful, but not always easy.  Briana is grateful that she has the opportunities in front of her to provide a better life for both of them.  She knows that her life experiences will provide the opportunity to connect with her patients authentically as an RN.

Her goal is to work in a local hospital in the Coachella Valley in either the ER or disease prevention. With perseverance, grit, support and motivation, she will continue to pursue the college dream instilled in her so long ago.

 

Anastasia Midkiff

Anastasia Midkiff

As a child, Anastasia Midkiff was ambitious in all her endeavors and it followed her into adulthood. She is a licensed Esthetician and worked diligently to move up in her field. She expanded her knowledge and added certifications under her license. Although a successful Esthetician, she knew she needed more financial stability and insurance for her family. At this point she went to trade school to obtain her Phlebotomy license. She was then hired at a local hospital in an entry level lab position. Once again, her ambitions kicked in. Finding her passion in this field, she came to the conclusion that if she wants a better life for her son, she needs to lead by example. Her path has taken her back to the College of the Desert where she is studying to become a Medical Lab    Technician. An MLT is a technician that works alongside a Clinical Laboratory Scientist and runs tests on blood and body fluid specimens.

She is bound and determined and will not fail. She wants to prove to both she and her son that she can and will do better for them.