February Student Spotlight on Mikailey, class of 2022!
Mikailey is a recent graduate of Cerro Coso who was accepted at California State University Northridge, class of 2025, where she is a Kinesiology Major! While at Cerro Coso Tehachapi, Mikailey received two AA degrees: one AA-T in Art History and one AA in Liberal Arts and Humanities. While a student at CC, she worked as an English tutor. We caught up with Mikailey to ask about her time being a student at Cerro Coso and what her future holds: a career in medicine.
“I started Cerro Coso classes when I was 14. I actually started the summer before I began high school. My first class was an ASL C101 class, and I fell in love with learning at the college level. Being surrounded by adults who were working jobs and managing families gave me a huge appreciation for education. I grew not only as a student but as a person as well. Trying to juggle high school, college, extracurriculars, family, and friends wasn't easy, but it taught me grit and determination.”
“Just before my final semester at CC, I was asked to be a tutor for two English C102 classes. This completely shifted my perspective as a student. For me, being a tutor made me view school from a totally different angle. I was no longer just learning topics myself, but I was breaking down information to help someone else understand. It was a massive learning curve, but I loved every minute of being a tutor and was very sad to leave the job. I graduated CC at 18 years old, with two AA degrees. I actually graduated CC one month before I graduated high school! I almost started crying multiple times at graduation because I just couldn't believe that I had made it. It all seemed so far away until I was walking across the stage and moving the tassel on my cap.”
“CC gave me a community of people who taught me what it was really like to be a student. They showed me that you can get your degree while working, having a family, being in high school, etc. Being surrounded by these people influenced how I view school, and how much I will work for my education.”
“CC most definitely helped me get to where I want to be. Being able to cut two years off of my five-year Bachelor's degree was a game changer. I plan to get my Master's later on, so normally I would be spending 7 years in college. However, because I got my AAs at CC, I am now looking at only 5 years of college.”
What interests you about your Kinesiology Major?
“I decided senior year that I wanted to work in the medical field. Kinesiology is a difficult degree about anatomy and the human body. I like it because it's not only about the science of the human body but also about how it moves and operates. I believed this would be the best, most well-rounded degree to have in order to continue in medicine.”
What do you want to do your Masters in?
“I'd like to get my Masters in Physician's Assistant Studies and work in a hospital. I'm interested in many areas: Pediatric Unit, NICU, and Cardiac Unit. It's three years of a Masters program and then you can go straight to working! I think I would be well-suited in a career as a PA.”
Is your family in the medical field?
“No, I'm actually the first to go into it. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with a heart condition. Luckily, they found it to be mild, but it was still a very eye-opening experience for me. I was helped by many medical professionals who were telling me, “Okay, this is what is happening. And this is what we're going to do about it.” It was so reassuring and amazing to me how helpful, competent, and certain they were. That's when I decided, “I wanted to be like that and help people too.” I would say this is what turned me onto the medical field.”
Who would you like to give a shoutout to at Cerro Coso?
“My first shoutout would be to Mrs. Hess, my very first community college instructor, whose classes made me want to continue my community college journey. My second would be to Professor Swiridoff for not only being one of my favorite professors in my educational career, but also trusting me to be her English C102 tutor. I also don't know where I would be without my mom and sister. They celebrated every win and were there any time I needed support.”
What words of wisdom do you have for new and current Cerro Coso students?
“You can do it! Seriously, it seems so hard, and there will definitely be those hard moments, but I promise that it is all worth it. Cerro Coso students are some of the most dedicated people I know, and they support each other so much. Self-doubt is absolutely real, but don't let it overwhelm you. Go at your own pace and don't judge yourself for learning at your own speed. Professors and tutors are there every step of the way and don't be hesitant to reach out. From personal experience, professors actually really like it when students stop by and ask questions! It might seem like a long road, but time sneaks up so quickly!”