We are Ray and Kelli, counselors at City. Housing for homeless vets. 5th grade team forfeits its basketball games for a good reason. Cutting cable. Save $1000. Food Pantry. Saving at the movies. Mentor profiles. Video contest on suicide prevention for cash prizes. $20K Scholarship for Math and Science teachers. Student loan debt. UC tuition increase. Protecting immigrant students. Helping the homeless. Carlos Sanz Memorial Scholarship. Good time to buy a used car. San Diego City College Scholarships.

The veterans page: Housing the homeless. Veteran finds healing through adopting a cat. Wounded Marines help others. Video: Soldier and dog greet each other after 6 months apart. Happy Veterans Day! Helping make a Marine's dream come true. GI Bill. Friendship. Faith and PTSD. Bell tower at Miramar Cemetery. Shelter to Soldiers. Homes For Our Troops.

Memorable quote: "What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year." -- Vern McLellan.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Housing for Homeless Vets

"The cost involved is high, but if we can house and help 50 veterans, it would be worth (it)." --
Councilman Keith Blackburn.

Housing for Homeless Vets Approved in Carlsbad was published in the San Diego Union Tribune on Feb. 17, 2017.

Monday, February 13, 2017

5th Grade Team Forfeits for Female Players

Okay, this post has nothing to do with saving money for college, reducing expenses, or finding the right career but when I read it, I had to put it up. I salute the St. John's 5th grade co-ed basketball team in New Jersey for sticking up for their female players. They might forfeit their games this season, but they've won my respect forever. 5th Grade Co-ed Basketball Team Chooses To Forfeit Season Instead Of Kicking Girls Off The Team appeared on MSN Sports.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Cutting Cable

If you're thinking about cutting your cable TV, the San Diego Union Tribune is running a column called Digital Life by Jennifer Van Grove to help you.

Can You Live Without Cable TV for a Week? was published on Feb. 18, 2017.

An Intro to Streaming Sticks and Boxes appeared on Feb. 11, 2017.

A Beginner's Guide to Cutting the Cord was published on Feb. 3, 2017.

It's Not Me, It's You: Breaking Up With Cable appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune on 10-19-15.

Food Pantry at Mesa

"It means so much knowing that the student government really cares about the students, knowing it's something for the students, by the students." -- Student Jenn Burkhead.

Mesa Opens Food, Clothes Pantry For Students in Need was published in the San Diego Union Tribune on Feb. 10, 2017.

City's Food Pantry is now open on Fridays in the Spring 2017 semester.

Saving $1000

In a previous post on getting out of debt, I cited author, Dave Ramsey, in urging you to start an emergency fund of $1000 asap to help you through life's unexpected expenses such as a car repair. You might be asking how to do that. Well MSN Money has provided 15 Painless Ways to Save $1000 by Summer. One suggestion is to get a cheaper cell phone plan. And remember that if you cancel your gym membership, we have lots of fun exercise classes at San Diego City College such as yoga, kickboxing, and dance.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Save On Movies

Movies: I like going to the movie theater, but by the time I've paid for tickets for our family of four and made it back from the concession stand, I have gone through a boatload of cash. So is it possible to go to the movies without taking on a second job? Here are 15 ways to save at the theater from MSN. Hint: you might miss the popcorn, but you'll survive.

Mentors Change Lives

“One time Aden asked me, ‘Do you get paid to do this?’ And I said, ‘Dude, my benefit is, someone did it for me, and I hope you can go out and do something nice for someone else.’ I’m a big believer in paying it forward, and if I have the means and the ability to do it, I’m going to do it. I can’t give money, but I have time to give. That’s what we should all do to make the world a better place.” -- Derek Hegyi, volunteer mentor for Jewish Family Service of San Diego's Jewish BigPals program.

San Diego Mentor Pays It Forward, Tacos Included was published in the San Diego Union Tribune on January 27, 2017.

Volunteer Profile

"To know that just my mere presence brings light to someone’s day is an amazing feeling that can’t be explained in words. To watch these kids grow and regain trust in society, and to achieve what they believe is the impossible, is something that still, after 10 years, surprises me every time it happens." -- Maggie McWhorter, Executive Director for StandUp For Kids

This profile of Maggie McWhorter was published in the San Diego Union Tribune on Jan. 22, 2017.

Student Video Contest!

Submit a 60 second film on the topic of suicide prevention and mental health for cash prizes of up to $500. Deadline is March 1, 2017. For more info: https://www.sdcity.edu/MentalHealthCounseling/DirectingChange

Monday, January 30, 2017

$20K Scholarship for Teachers in Math, Engineering, Science

Loyola Marymount University Noyce Scholarship
$20,000 for Science and Math majors to become K-12 teachers.

  • Math, Engineering, and Science majors.

  • 3.0 or higher GPA in major and 2.8 or higher overall GPA.

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

  • Scholars must complete 2 years of service as a math or science teacher in a high-need school for each year of scholarship support received.

  • Obtain a preliminary teaching credential within 2 years of completing their bachelor's degree.

  • Participate in the Noyce Urban Teachers Learning Seminars during first year of teaching.

  • Provide annual certification of employment, up-to-date contact info, and participate in program surveys and research studies.

  • Deadline: March 1, 2017.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Student Debt Impacts Women

My opinion is students should avoid loan debt. The surest way to do that is to not take out student loans in the first place. How to pay for school you ask?
  • Live at home with parents as long as possible. This might mean you help around the house and contribute to household expenses.
  • Apply for financial aid. This goes without saying. Even if you don't think you qualify, submit your FAFSA and indicate "Work Study" if you are interested in a part-time job on campus. Renew your FAFSA every year. 
  • Apply for scholarships. Check out the scholarship page on this blog. Also check the San Diego City College scholarship site for resources.
  • Take as many courses as possible at the community college before transfer. Work with a counselor on this.
  • Set a budget and stick to it.
  • Cut unnecessary expenses. By this, I mean buy only what you need, not what you want.
  • Author Dave Ramsey says it's imperative to set up an emergency fund of $1000 asap. Whatever your budget can afford, start putting a set amount away each month until you reach $1000. How? Sell stuff you don't need. Work an extra job during school breaks. Take in a roommate to cut the rent. Having an emergency fund will save you a ton of stress when emergencies happen. It will also empower you by showing you it's possible to save.
  • Once you establish your emergency fund, then continue saving the same monthly amount or more if possible. Put it in a savings account toward your future college expenses.

Okay, female students, the article below is about you. But don't fret. Do the above instead. College Debt Weighs More Heavily on Women Than On Men appeared on MSN Money.

UC Education Will Cost More

UC Regents Approve First Tuition Increase Since 2011 was published in the San Diego Union Tribune on January 28, 2017.

Protecting Immigrant Students

Sometimes it's hard being a counselor at San Diego City College. We don't have the resources to help students the way we would like to, especially during the peak registration periods. We run out of appointments. We don't have enough educational planning workshops, and it's hard for students to get the help they need. This is frustrating for students, counselors, and staff. During these times, I can feel pretty exasperated and question my purpose in this profession.

There are times, however, when I'm proud to be an employee of the San Diego Community College District. The article below regarding our District's stance in protecting immigrant students is one instance in which I am glad to be a part of our District and community. It's reassuring to know that the District has the backs of our students. Kudos to Chancellor Constance Carroll for taking this stand because it's the right thing to do.

The San Diego Community College District is taking a stand to protect college students who could possibly face deportation. "There are institutions that will provide voluntary assistance (to federal immigration officers), and we will not be one of them." -- Chancellor Constance Carroll.

Community College District Moves to Protect Immigrant Students appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune on January 28, 2017.


Escondido Puts Homeless on Priority List appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune on Feb. 19, 2017.

Oceanside Debates Homeless Solutions was published in the San Diego Union Tribune on Feb. 14, 2017.

"This situation is beyond outrageous, but our homeless population is not to blame -- the culprit is failed leadership." City Camp Could Be San Diego's Homeless Solution appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune on Feb. 10, 2017.

How to solve the homeless problem? Homeless Crisis Is Solvable, But Won't Yield to Political Timidity was published in the San Diego Union Tribune on January 29, 2017.

Volunteers helped count the numbers of homeless in San Diego. "It was an eye-opener to see people sleeping under the bridge." -- Natasha Howell of Oceanside, who helped search for homeless near Camp Pendleton. 1,700 Volunteers Hit the Street to Count, Interview the Homeless appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune on January 28, 2017.

Homeless Connect gave services and basic necessities to 1,016 people on January 25. "This is where my life turned around." -- David Hyland, one of the many people who received help. 1,000+ Receive Clothes, Services at 11th Homeless Connect was published in the San Diego Union Tribune on January 25, 2017.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Scholarship for AB540 Students

Carlos Sanz Memorial Scholarship


Carlos Sanz was the son of Mexican immigrants. He had to start working at a young age to help support his family and became a successful businessman. He never attended college but passed on his love of reading and education to his sons. His son Andre is a Counselor here at City College. This opportunity is for AB540 students.

  • Must be AB540 student
  • GPA 2.5 or higher
  • Must have a declared major
  • Must be enrolled in a minimum of nine (9) units at City College in Fall and Spring of the current academic year.
If there is no funding or there are no qualified applicants that reflect this format the scholarship will not be awarded for that year.



Supplemental Questions
  1. I am an AB540 student
  2. Carlos Sanz Questionnaire
    • 1. How will this scholarship help you complete your education? (250 words max)
    • 2. What adversity have you faced in pursuing your education? (250 words max)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Army Vet Heals Through Loving Her Cat

"I was in such a bad place. I remember thinking, 'How am I going to get out of this?' And then I saw that face, and I just felt something. And when you don't usually feel much and you finally feel something, you kind of have to act on that." -- Army veteran, Karolyn Smith, on seeing her cat, Sophia, for the first time on San Diego Humane Society's Facebook page.

How An Amputee Cat Helped A San Diego Veteran Heal Herself appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune on January 14, 2017.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Is It A Good Time to Buy a Used Car?

"This is the first material (car inventory) decline we've seen since the recession." -- Jonathan Banks, an analyst at J.D. Power. The Time is Right to Buy a Used Vehicle was published in the LA Times on December 27, 2016.