Getting Equipped for your Dream Job

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Sergey Ivannikov, Founder & CEO of Russian American Media, Inc. with Vice Chancellor of Los Rios Community College District Babs Sandeen, Ph.D. and President & General Manager of KVIE Public Television David Lowe at Firebird Russian Restaurant

As children, many of us aspire for greatness in our futures. Our dreams have no boundaries or limitations. Sadly, when we grow up, many of these dreams start to fade, as life oftentimes sends us obstacles that seem to block our path to these dreams. What if there was a way to take our dreams, and make them into our dream jobs? Luckily for you, there is a way! Higher education is a powerful tool that can change the course of your life, and turn your dreams into reality.

The American dream is a profound ideal in which every citizen has an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.

Beverly “Babs” Sandeen, vice chancellor for Resource and Economic Development at Los Rios Community College District LRCCD, and president of the Los Rios Foundation, is living out the American dream, and hopes to help students do the same.

“Wouldn’t it be great if everyone was as educated as they could be, and doing what they loved,” Sandeen said.

Success comes with dedication. Sandeen is no stranger to overcoming obstacles, and working hard to achieve her dreams. She received her bachelor’s in political science, and doctorate in social ecology from UC Irvine. During her college days, Sandeen juggled multiple jobs, many roles (student body vice president, sorority president, director of the women’s center), having to use public transportation to get around, and her personal life-all while having a full load of classes. Sandeen’s rich experience in academics, and student activities led her to becoming an executive director of the Alumni Association at UC Irvine. She also served as the vice chancellor of University Relations at UC Davis. While serving at Davis, Sandeen led the first comprehensive fundraising campaign, and helped raise $1 billion. Three years ago, Sandeen moved on to becoming the vice chancellor at the LRCCD.

“Being student focused drives us,” Sandeen said.

The Los Rios Foundation’s mission is to invest in the students of the Los Rios district to help them succeed and reach their educational goals. Sergey Ivannikov serves on the Board of Directors, along with other community leaders, with the goal of raising funds, and implementing programs to further the foundation’s mission.

Because students are the highest priority at Los Rios community colleges, high emphasis is placed on removing barriers that stand between students achieving their goals. For example, the student emergency fund helps students with unexpected emergency situations that may cause the student to drop out of school.

“Learn to respect your culture, and learn from others,” Sandeen said.

One of the greatest things about attending a higher education institution is being exposed to people that are different than you, and sharing your experiences with others. “We live in one of the most diverse regions of our country, and that is reflected in our institutions…you learn more when you have the most diverse set of voices in the classroom,” said Sandeen. Even if your values or background differ from those of your peers, you can still learn from one another.

Is a degree standing between you being excited to go to work every morning, or dreading it? Do you have a dream that you’ve pushed aside for far too long? It’s never too late to make the American dream a part of your story.

Olviya Ivanov

Thousands of young people and immigrants from the Russian-speaking community credit Los Rios community colleges for becoming a cornerstone of their education in the US. Russian American Media's contributor Olviya Ivanov met with the President of Los Rios Foundation, Beverly Sandeen, PhD and the Director of Institutional Advancement, Kristin Frame, to learn more about this impressive collaboration.

Did you know?

L - Includes 4 colleges, and six major education and outreach centers.

R - Is the second-largest community college district in California.

C - Has been educating the greater Sacramento Region for 50 years!

C - Covers 2,400 square miles of service area.

D - Offers AA/AS degrees in more than 70 career fields.

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