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College Success for Your Family: Part 2

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Narrator: This is Family Support Workshop at South Seattle Community College. Gary Oertli, President, SSCC: You will not find a friendlier, more student focused campus than South Seattle Community College, and in fact, we have data to prove that. Narrator: You'll recognize two of the faces on this family support panel - Janice and Colleen Young, who we just met, are passing along their experience to new families just entering the world of higher education. Janice: Having services like this we're giving you the resources in your hand, so I think this is definitely a step up from when I came. Narrator: This is just one of many resources for families available on campus. When a student begins an education, there are benefits for all of the family. Presenter: There is a blue handout. It's called a Family Resource Handbook, and it's... Narrator: All college students, regardless of age, experience or previous education rely on a supportive network, whether that's parents, children, spouses, partners, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents or friends. That network of support goes even beyond the family. It includes college resources like advisors, tutoring, Math study, student groups and much more. Next meet Todd Couture and Laura Molina. Mother and son have a unique story with lessons for all of us. Todd Couture, Graduate: Well, I am physically challenged; I've got cerebral palsy. So, because of that, I've always thought that I had to be educated to make something of myself in the world. So I don't even think it was really a question once I started school. So we just always assumed I was going to go to college. Narrator: And Todd did just that, beginning at South Seattle Community College. Todd: Well, one thing was location - I will be honest about that. It's just a few minutes from our house. Also, I had heard good things about the college from people who had done Running Start and things of that nature. So I thought it was a pretty easy decision - once I decided to go to community college - to come here to South. Narrator: Todd's experience was so positive, his two sisters followed in his footsteps. Laura Molina, Todd's Mother: The cost at the community college was a lot less and that's why we kind of chose South Seattle. And, like he said, it was the closest location to our home. But they really had no say; they were so young. But Todd was an influence on them, and they also came to South. The two girls did follow. Narrator: And by going to college, Todd made family history, eventually graduating from the University of Washington. Laura: Well, Todd is the first to graduate. Yes, yes, so I'm very proud of him. And it was quite an accomplishment and a bumpy road sometimes...and many times. Narrator: The entire family actually played a role. Todd: During the time I went to South and the university, what had happened was that I just kind of stayed at my grandparents, and Mom came over every night with my two sisters. So what happened there was, she would help me with my homework, stay very late over at my grandparents. I would stay with my grandparents during my college years, and then my sisters and my mom would go back home and she would help with their homework in high school and middle school afterwards. And my grandparents did the cooking and did all those experiences that you talked about. And they were very supportive as well. So it was really a big family affair. So... Laura: It takes a village, right? Narrator: All of the hard work and family support are the beginning of a bright, new career. Todd: I work for U.S. Customs. I work down there on the waterfront. So yeah, I've been there seven years. So, I really enjoy it. Narrator: And looking back on his education, Todd also credits his mom for recognizing how much times have changed. Todd: Back when my mom went to school, high school, you could go to work from high school directly, and that was okay. But now, I don't think so. I mean you can do it, but it's harder. It's much harder. Narrator: Mom has advice for other parents with students hoping to better their lives through education. Laura: Just be there for your student. Just help them. Hold their hand - not physically, but be there at all times. And whatever you can do to help them, please reach out and help them. Because today's... In today's society, you need to have an education. It's a must. Narrator: Now, there's a certain sense of family celebration because of Todd's educational and professional success. Laura: Oh, it's just a relief. I'm glad it's over. And to stand back and see all the successes that you've gone through, I'm proud to be your mother and that it all came about on the right road. And that you've succeeded and see you independent and traveling all over - on your own, which I worry, but yet... It's a long road, but you made it. Todd: You're a mom, thank you. Narrator: Mike Chareunsap is an education success story. But there have been challenges along the way. Interviewer: Did you go to college? I did attempt to go to college. I went to North Seattle and I was taking an accounting class, nutrition class and an English class. And it was just the wrong time; it was just the wrong time in my life that I decided to go back to college. I tried, but it just didn't work out. So I had to drop all my classes. Roxanne: So come on next door and let me show you MAST... Narrator: Mike spent the next 10 years in the work force and was then laid off. Now Mike has a new direction in life. Mike: My career goals? I would have to say, I would love to go out, back into the work field, and start working, you know, in some very nice restaurants, hotels, and ultimately have my own restaurant. Narrator: During this time of transition and education, Mike takes advantage of all the resources on campus. But the real push behind his success is closer to home. Mike: My mom was a big influence, 'cause you know, she raised three kids all pretty much by herself and even got two degrees, so that was a big motivation. Narrator: Yet again, family support is key. So from Mike to Mom: That's a big thank you. Now we spend some time with the Strauss Family: Mom, Martha, Dad, Jimmy, and sons, Johann and Eric. Congratulations are certainly in order for Johann, who got his start preparing for college while in high school, through a college preparation program at South Seattle Community College. Johann Strauss, Student: I just graduated from Stanford University with a Masters in Latin American Studies, and I'm currently studying for the Law School admissions test, which I will be taking in September for admission into law school in the coming year, so hopefully for the class of 2013. Interviewer: Was education a part of or one of the reasons why you chose to emmigrate to the Seattle area from Columbia? Jimmy Strauss, Johann's Father: Interviewer: So, you must have been proud of Johann when he was doing well in school and high school, and when he decided to go to Stanford. Martha Strauss, Johann's Mother: Narrator: Johann will be the first to tell you that the financial aid process can be a challenge for the entire family. Johann: And I think there's a lot of barriers that really prevent you, really make it more difficult as a family to accept the idea of going to college. And that's one of the things that we really faced when we first started thinking about where it is that I want to go and what opportunities I had. Jimmy: Narrator: Leaving such a close family for school was tough for Johann. Johann: But sometimes being able to experience new things is the best way to really grow as an individual. And that's one of the risks that I took thinking 'Wow, I'm, you know, going all the way to California. I've never been away from my family this long.' But the experience in itself is so rewarding and being able to see yourself change. Just think of how great it feels to come back home and being able to be with your family is something that's truly worthwhile. Narrator: Johann has also been able to influence his parents. Mr. Strauss completed a vocational training program at South after being laid off a few years ago. Mrs. Strauss took some ESL courses and has plans to come back to complete a college degree. And Johann's proud parents are grateful for the legacy that is being passed from older brother to younger brother. Eric Strauss, Johann's Brother: While Johann was doing Upward Bound, I knew that what he was doing and I saw how much fun he was having and I knew he was enjoying it. And I knew how Upward Bound was helping him succeed with what he wanted. Because of that, I guess, when the time came around and I had the opportunity, I took it and I applied. And from there I got accepted and I'm enjoying it. Martha: Narrator: And finally, another family success story. This time for a medical professional. Jing is a woman who saves lives. Apasara "Jing" Jitviriyanon, Graduate: Narrator: That's right, Jing is at the right hand of many surgeons at Children's Hospital in Seattle. She is a very important part of life saving procedures in the operating room. Her present day success began when she came to America more than a decade ago. Jing: Interviewer: And how long have you been in America? Jing: Narrator: And as we've seen so often in this presentation, family support has been crucial for Jing. Jing: Narrator: Yes, Jing, you have come a long way. Not just in miles, but in hard work and the realization of your dreams. [ Man announcing names of graduates ] This is what it looks like when dreams come true. This is the payoff for years of hard work. And this is just the beginning of great rewards to come. Graduation Day at South Seattle Community College is a time of recognition and celebration. On this day, families come together in joy. Students say thank you, and in some cases goodbye, to their fellow students, instructors and advisors. Graduation is the place where we see and hear pride echoing beyond this campus into professional success stories which are just around the corner. Ragni Saran, Graduate: There are no words in the dictionary that I could describe this moment. I think what we can say is yes we can. And yes we did! [ Man continues announcing names of graduates ]

Video Details

Duration: 17 minutes and 53 seconds
Year: 2012
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Producer: Seattle Community Colleges Television
Director: Seattle Community Colleges Television
Views: 33
Posted by: scctv on Nov 2, 2012

The support offered by family members plays an important role in the success of a college student. Making Achievement Possible (MAP) Video Series: MAP is a college success video series designed to help students, potential students, and their families learn to navigate the college system and gain the skills necessary for academic success. MAP consists of sixteen short videos, each with curricular materials for instructional use. All videos were funded by a Department of Education/AANAPISI grant to South Seattle Community College. More information is available at

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