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Sante Colbert Finds Purpose and Progress at Cerritos College

Sante ColbertWhen Sante Colbert started college in 2007, he was still short a few high school credits. A former foster youth, he attended both Los Angeles Harbor College and Pierce College simultaneously. He worked toward getting those credits and earn an associate degree, but beyond that, he had no real idea what he wanted to do with his life.

Then, his entire world came crashing down. Sante lost everything he’d worked for when he found himself in jail. Piece by piece, over the next few years, he started to rebuild his life from the ground up. Eventually, that meant going back to school, to finish up the couple of classes he still needed.

However, there was a problem. He couldn’t finish his degree in the Los Angeles Community College District. One of the classes he still needed was a math class he’d already tried to take three times. The first time, he got a ‘D’. The second time, he withdrew. Then the third time, his time in jail forced him to withdraw again. LACCD rules said that he couldn’t take the class more than three times. So, if he wanted to complete his education, he needed to find somewhere else.

That’s when Sante found Cerritos College. He finished the two classes he needed, which put him on the pathway to success.

“So many wonderful faculty and colleagues,” says Sante of his time at Cerritos. “Very encouraging and accommodating to me along my way.”

One faculty member in particular was Dr. Kimberly Duff, who ended up becoming Sante’s mentor. Dr. Duff was part of Cerritos’ Psychology Department, which turned out to be the perfect fit for Sante. After struggling to figure out what to do with his life, Psychology became his calling. As a former foster youth, the cognitive and social aspects of psychology spoke to him.

After finishing up at Cerritos College, Sante transferred to Cal State Dominguez Hills and earned a bachelor’s degree and is now finishing up his master’s degree at USC. While at USC, Sante wrote an op-ed article about spreading awareness about LGBTQ+ foster youth, which ended up getting published in the L.A. Pride newspaper.

Sante has a bright future ahead of him. On track to graduate USC in August 2022, from there he plans to enter the PhD program at Walden University to study social work. He is also poised to be hired directly by the field placement office where he’s been working.   Sante plans to open his own practice in social work and create a non-profit for LGBTQ+ youth ages 18-25.

To anyone considering pursuing an education at Cerritos College, Sante encourages them to use the resources available to them, including connecting with faculty and peers, and finding the programs they qualify for and applying for them.

“Get in there,” says Sante. “Have the courage and take your education into your hands because no one is going to find that purpose for you.”

About the Psychology Program at Cerritos

Cerritos’ Psychology Department offers courses in a wide variety of areas, from social psychology to abnormal psychology, to research methods and statistics, and more. The program is designed to help students enter a bachelor’s degree program and continue their education.

To learn more about the Psychology program at Cerritos College, visit www.cerritos.edu/psychology 

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