Michele Jenkins is a proud alumna of College of the Canyons and never misses an opportunity to give back to the institution where she and her husband got their start. Looking back on her own COC experience, she says, “My husband and I were both the first in our families to graduate from college. We began attending College of the Canyons in 1969. We were very young, newly married with a child, and working full-time. Had it not been for COC and the encouragement and support we received, I’m not sure we would have achieved all that we have. After COC we both transferred to UCLA. Later I earned a master’s degree in counseling and my husband ultimately graduated from medical school.”
Michele has lived in the Santa Clarita Valley since 1964 and is the mother of two children and two grandchildren. She has been a member of the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees since 1984. Michele also served for 11 years on the California Community College Trustees state board of directors, as well as working on several committees and task forces which work to support the California Community College system.
Michele often refers to the students at College of the Canyons graduation ceremonies as the “best and the brightest” and she says, “One of the greatest rewards I have had in my life is giving something back to COC and the California Community College system.”
Michele asks students as they move on from COC to please remember College of the Canyons and the launching pad the institution provided them to their future – she asks them to stay proud to say they graduated from COC – and when they’re able, that they give their financial support back to COC. For her, it’s about alumni providing opportunities for the students who will follow in their footsteps. Giving back to the institution from which one has received so much in a fashion commensurate with what one achieves, is an ethical responsibility and something she personally finds extremely rewarding.