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Student Story

Kassy Furtado
Current FLC Student majoring in Mathematics

"I am excited about the many possibilities that will arise for me and my family in the future because of the wonderful education I received at Folsom Lake College."

Kassy Furtado

When did you start taking classes at Folsom Lake College (FLC)?

I gave college an attempt once in 2000, then again in 2002, but I withdrew (or worse) from every class. As a single mom, I guess I just wasn't ready to fully commit my time yet. Then, in Spring 2008 after my youngest child started Kindergarten, I enrolled in classes again, and I have been here at FLC full-time ever since!

What is your major?

When I started in 2008, I had never taken an assessment test- plus, the idea of taking a full-load was intimidating- so I took all basic courses. I'm not sure of the exact number of students who take non-prerequisite math classes and then decide to go into Mathematics majors- my guess is not many. I for one found my calling when I took Arithmetic. My first Math instructor was Joy Fuson, an expectant mother who told us on the first day of class she would be taking leave halfway through the semester to deliver her child. At first, I felt uneasy because up to that time I had trouble grasping Math concepts, yet I was filled with admiration for her courage and how she taught her class with compassion and cheerfulness. In spite of my apprehension, I found myself longing to do well in class. One day, after she handed our class over to Kevin Pipkin, a distinctively congenial teacher who had our class chiming "mental math" for warm up, I realized something: I wanted to teach Math.

Why did you choose FLC?

I chose FLC because it was close to my home in El Dorado Hills, it offered flexible class times (morning/evening), and I had a friend who introduced me to the financial assistance programs on campus. I stayed because I realized what a wonderful experience it could be: I have learned so much, made friends I will have forever, and I've developed realistic and achievable goals for my future. It has also been really amazing watching the campus grow; when I started taking classes, the Falcon's Roost was much smaller, there was no PE building or Three Stages, and the portables were used with more frequency. This is my last semester at Folsom Lake College- bittersweet. When you go to school here, it feels like you are a part of something much bigger; I feel privileged to have had the opportunity and experience. 

What was the best part of your experience at FLC?

The best part of my experience has to be the instructors! They are friendly, knowledgeable, and good-humored; furthermore, they are always available to give any extra assistance you might need. I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from some amazing people: Joy Fuson, Kevin Pipkin, Joe Eitel, Dave Cooper, Robert Fox, Lele Trieu, Marc Olsen, David Reese, Yvonne Price, and Juan Flores... I can easily go on.

What are you particularly proud of that you accomplished at FLC?

I have several accomplishments that I am proud of, like taking the first steps to come back to school, sticking with it even when it felt like I wasn't going to make it, and graduating with honors. Most recently I was awarded the Soroptimist International Women's Opportunity Award and the AAUW Scholarship. I have also been accepted to join the Intel 2012 Ultimate Engineering Experience during the summer. I am most proud of the fact that I've set a great example for my children that through hard-work and dedication you can be successful. I am excited about the many possibilities that will arise for me and my family in the future because of the wonderful education I received at Folsom Lake College. 

How do you feel FLC prepared you for the future?

The workshops, academic counseling, and programs that are available on campus are excellent tools for success. There are workshops available for almost any problem a college student might be facing (study skills, midterms, sleep habits, etc.), and I have gone to my fair share. My academic counselor, Michelle Madden, has been an invaluable resource for me. She is always available to see me for quick questions or concerns regarding my educational plan and selecting the right classes to help me complete my major requirements for transfer. She always makes me feel like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. 

For the last few semesters I have been working on campus for the EOP&S, CalWORKs, and CARE programs. These programs offer critical resources to many of our students like advocacy, book vouchers, priority registration, gas cards, and much more. Aside from the experience the position has offered me, I've taken advantage of these programs in the past, and realistically, I don't know if I could have afforded to attend without them. By just taking the time to reach out to the services Folsom Lake College has available, you can really help improve your mindset, daily habits, and routines. That, coupled with the strong instruction and mentorship available on campus, it is easy to succeed.

What are your future goals when you graduate FLC?

I'm looking forward to transferring to a four-year college in the Fall of 2012. As I stated earlier, after I finish school, I would like to pursue a career in teaching Mathematics; I'm not sure quite yet what grade level I would like to teach; luckily I have a couple of years to decide. A pretty famous guy once said: "Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death." I agree with that and think education is less about the end prize and more about the journey, and I'm certainly enjoying the challenge!

Kassy Furtado
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