Destiny Islas

Destiny Islas, Bellflower High School
Cohort 2 (2016-2017) 

Destiny Islas - Bellflower High School

Destiny Islas

High school:
Bellflower High School

Tell us about yourself:
My favorite hobbies consist of volunteering, dancing, and collecting pop figurines/collectibles. I also love to play video games, it was definitely a huge part of my childhood. I’m currently in Teacher TRAC and in the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society! My all time favorite tv shows have to be Sonic X, Kirby Right Back at Ya, Ed Edd and Eddy, and Courage The Cowardly Dog!

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Silly, Humble, and Kind.

What are you passionate about?
I’m very passionate about giving back to my community. I am constantly looking to help and guide people whenever I can. I believe that in order to see change in this world, we must all spread acts of kindness to everyone. Not every act of kindness consists of donating money; it can be a lending hand, or an ear to listen.

Did you know what you wanted to do after you graduated high school?
No, I did not have a clue in what I wanted to do after I graduated high school. 

Are you a first generation college student?
Yes, I’m a first generation college student on both sides of my family.

What advice would you give high school students thinking about joining this program?
The advice I would give to high school students would have to be, ask for help. Asking questions will be the most beneficial thing to do throughout your college experience. There is so many things you may not know, that a simple question to a counselor/professor or student can ultimately open up new doors for you. Although you are in the process of becoming an adult, don’t have that mentality that you’re going to do everything on your own. Make new friends, learn from others and just be willing to learn something new everyday!

Why did you sign-up for the Cerritos Complete Program?
I signed up for the Cerritos Complete Program, because of its strong support system. Although free tuition is a nice addition to the program, the support system and guidance aspects are the big components that really made this program stand out. The assistance the Cerritos Complete Program provides helps many students on the journey of pursuing their dreams; as well as providing a numerous amounts of opportunities for first generation college students like myself. The Cerritos Complete Program has continuously grown, and will continue to stand out because of the great faculty, support systems, and staff that keep the program successful and strong.

What do you think of your experience transitioning from high school to Cerritos College?
Cerritos Complete really helped me transition from my senior year in 2016, where it was that year where I had no clue what to do. I didn’t know where to start and I didn’t know what to ask my parents because they didn’t go to college. None of my family went to college. So when I heard that Cerritos Complete had a lot of resources to offer, I took the opportunity as a first-generation college student and I went forward. And now that I look back on it I am really glad that I took the opportunity because I had so many new internships and so many new friends that I am at a place that I never thought I would be today.

My experience from transition out of high school was very smooth. I love how I started classes and counseling fresh out of high school. I was receiving guidance in school enrollment, major requirements, transfer information, and extracurricular activities; which truly allowed me to feel confident for my first year of college.

What was your first semester like?
My first semester was good. It was both a challenge and a reality check. College is very different from high school, and was not a walk in the park; however there were so many support systems and professors/mentors to guide me in the right direction. I learned so much in my first semester of college, and met some pretty amazing mentors and friends along the way.


What do you think of your college experience?
My college experience has exceeded my expectations. I have grown as a completely different person, than I was in high school. Of course my college experience was not 100% perfect. But in all reality, life in general couldn't always be perfect like the way I had wanted it to be. That alone taught me how to be positive in my college journey, and allowed me to continue to persevere. Every difficulty, blessing, and mistake has made me the person I am today.

How has Cerritos Complete influenced your life?
Cerritos Complete has influenced my life in so many positive ways. I was given a second chance at redeeming myself academically, when I entered this program; and I have truly blossomed into a better person. I wasn't a perfect/honor roll student in high school, nor did I have a clue of what higher education meant; due to the fact I was a first-generation college student. This program really opened my eyes, and proved to me how valuable community colleges are. I have had so many positive experiences throughout this program, and I’m proud of pursuing my higher education at this school and through the Cerritos Complete. I have received many scholarships, internships, mentors, friends, and guest speaking opportunities because of the Cerritos Complete Program. When I continued to think positive and seek the bright side of things; things fell into place, and allowed me to be successful. Success is truly defined differently by everyone, and the Cerritos Complete Program has opened up many possibilities of obtaining success for many students that enter this program. It’s very inspiring to see how many students the Cerritos Complete has helped, as well as continuing to assist them in achieving their dreams and goals.

Cerritos Complete has really changed my life in a way where I see myself as a different person than I was in high school. I had so many opportunities that helped me pursue my career to be a teacher and help others and I never would have believed that it was possible. Cerritos Complete has helped me pursue the career that I really wanted, which is being a special education teacher. Helping the future generation was good for me and for me to help the future generation is really important to me and the Cerritos Complete program really have me the opportunity to do that.

The program changed my life in so many positive ways. In all reality, I wasn't even planning to go to Cerritos College because I was in the process of enrolling at Long Beach City College (LBCC). I decided to go to the Cerritos Complete information meeting at my school, just to get more information about the program. I remember almost finishing my application in the library to enroll into LBCC, and decided to walked away. I walked away, because I realized Cerritos College had so much more to offer. The Cerritos Complete program had a great support/staff system, priority registration, major workshops, and book vouchers/scholarships. The program is truly dedicated to student success. The whole process of transitioning out of high school with this program made college so much more valuable and fun. Now that I look back at it all, I am so glad I chose Cerritos College for my college education. I have met so many amazing people along the way, and have been able to pursue many opportunities, like getting six scholarships, participating in a paid internship to work at Artesia High School, being mentored by faculty who are assisting me in becoming a teacher, and discovering that my passion is to become a future teacher. 

Cerritos Complete paved the way for my bright future.People look up to me and tell me I inspire them because I have accomplished so much at such a young age. I owe it all to Cerritos College and the people who bring it all together through the Cerritos Complete Program. This program guides and builds the potential of many young students entering college. It gives many students an opportunity to blossom and pursue their dreams. Even if some students don't know what major or job they want to pursue, Cerritos Complete guides them through this process. Everyone involved in the program dedicates their time to help students, as well as positively changing the way education is perceived for this generation, and the generations yet to come.

My family and friends think I have been very successful and I know everybody defines success differently, but I have been so happy throughout my whole college experience. And my career will only make it better than where I already am. And all the stuff I learned all the things that taught me to be a better person, I would have never got that if I wasn't in Cerritos Complete. So I am really, really happy to say that Cerritos Complete has helped me in so many ways, in school, at home, and in being a better person in general.

What is your major/career goal?
I’m majoring in Liberal Studies. I’m also in the process of achieving AA degrees in Elementary Education, Child Development, and Social and Behavioral Sciences; as well as a certificate in Educational Technology.

What year are you in now? W
hat is your anticipated graduation date? 
I am in my third year at Cerritos College. I’m planning to graduate Fall 2019. I plan on becoming a Special Education teacher after I graduate from Cal State Long Beach, as well as opening up my own child daycare.

What advice would you give college students starting this program?
The advice I would give to high school students would have to be, just be yourself. Don’t ever compare yourself to others, and especially don’t let others discourage you on living your life the way you want to. Do what makes you happy, because at the end of the day we are all on the same mountain, but following different paths. Be different and make yourself proud, better yourself every day and be proud of everything you have accomplished in life. Whether that be a small or big accomplishment, improvement is they key in being both successful and happy. Try not to be discouraged when you make a mistake, or get scared in trying something new; because you will lose many opportunities in life not just in college, but in life in general. Try new things in college, ask for help, and most importantly make new connections; those small things will open big doors for your future. Yes college may be intimidating at first, but there are so many resources to guide you! The Cerritos Complete and the numerous amount of services in Cerritos College, are all in reach for you, if you’re willing to try and seek them!

-Destiny Islas