Garfield Thanks Donors With Wall of Tiles

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Manvel Kapukchyan

CELEBRATING PHILANTHROPY: GCC President David Viar snaps a photo of the new donor wall at Garfield campus Monday afternoon. The wall was unveiled at a ceremony hosted by Alfred Ramirez, Garfield’s dean of administrative services, and attended by the Glendale College board of trustees.

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Fidel Cantu, Staff Writer
March 18, 2014
Filed under News, Top Stories

Alfred Ramirez, dean of administrative services at Garfield campus, welcomed the Board of Trustees Monday afternoon to the unveiling of the new Donor Wall, which honors those who have donated funds to the school.

The Donor Wall is located in the patio area of the campus between the new and old buildings, facing the staff parking lot. The wall displays the names of past students, staff, and philanthropists who have donated or passed through the school.

The Garfield Campus, located a few miles south of Glendale Community College, offers credit and non-credit courses tailored to students who want to improve their life skills.

The school offers more than an education, it helps students reinvent themselves by focusing on the area that needs the most improvement — whether it’s a General Education Diploma, ESL, business classes or parenting skills or to train for a new career.

According to Alfred Ramirez, dean of administrative services and workforce development at Garfield, these classes benefit many diverse people including: newly arrived immigrants, undocumented workers, veterans and people who have been out of work for a long time.

“I like working with adults. They are the best,” said Ramirez. ”They are taking classes to improve their language skills.”

Vahe Berberian, a student at Garfield, is an example of someone trying to improve his life. Berberian, an immigrant from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is a full-time time student who wants to complete his general education requirements and he feels that he is on track to achieve his goal and hopes to obtain a better job.

“The staff at Garfield is very encouraging and helpful, they work hard for the students,” Berberian said.

Berberian, was a diamond setter in his native Jordan, but here in the U.S. he worked as a jewelry salesman. Soon after his arrival, he lost his job and couldn’t find work, and his lack of English skills made it that more much difficult. He heard through friends in the community that Garfield could be an option and he has been there since.

“I’m here at school full time,” Berberian said.” The more I focus in class, the easier it gets.”

Garfield services a demographic which is heavily populated by the Armenian Community. Approximately 44 percent of the students who attend Garfield are Armenian and 22 percent are Hispanic.

Some of the challenges facing Ramirez are the transition of students from Garfield to GCC and helping them to find a job. It takes a lot of administrative effort to assure that all curriculum are met and up to date.

“Our mission is to provide education and student services to the local community,” said Ramirez, “meeting the critical needs of adults and high school students to achieve success through continuing education.”

The funding for Garfield comes from the state of California.

“The state is trying to overhaul adult education. It’s a constant battle to get resources,” Ramirez said. “[Funds] are limited and everyone has to get in line to get funding. We’re 8th in the state in funding — that’s how important we are to our community.”

The college receives funds per student, Garfield gets paid approximately $3,000 or $2,600 for different types of credit and non-credit courses, as compared to the $4,300 GCC receives per student.

Students that don’t qualify for federal student aid pay $46 per unit and non-resident students pay $187 per unit.

The Garfield campus also offers acting, pottery, computer, travel classes and more. Weekend classes are also available for the working student.

The campus is located at 1122 E. Garfield Ave. Students can call (818) 240-1000 for more information.

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