Poised, articulate, and confident, Mikhaila Keaton is pursuing the American dream in her studies at the Mendocino College Coast Campus. Born in Cambodia, she was adopted into a Fort Bragg family when she was five months old. She has five sisters, also of Asian birth — two from Cambodia, two from China, and one from Vietnam. “We have the greatest kids in the world,” her father says, “and Mikhaila is the budding artist in our family.”
Mikhaila has always loved art. When she was little and asked if she was going to be an artist when she grew up, she replied, “I already am one!” Mikhaila is currently studying for an Associate Degree in Art. She plans to transfer to a four-year college offering courses specific to her goal, a career in the field of graphic design. While in middle school at Three Rivers Charter School, Mikhaila took a field trip with her class to the Coast Campus. “I got to see what it looked like, an actual community college. It was really nice. It seemed like a good place to start out.”
For her senior project at Fort Bragg High School, Mikhaila worked at radio station KCRE in Crescent City, broadcasting on an early morning talk show. KOZT-FM in Fort Bragg helped her complete her project, supporting the creation of her own radio station and program. This was instrumental in winning her the Ron R. Hedley Scholarship for Recording Arts Technology.
Mikhaila is grateful for the financial assistance provided by her scholarships. “I don’t know that I would be able to take as many classes if it hadn’t been for the scholarships. They pay for a lot.” Mikhaila’s advice for aspiring students is “Do not procrastinate! Apply for scholarships as soon as you can. Find people who will write your letters of recommendation as soon as possible, to give them time to think about it and time to write it.
As she nears the completion of her college freshman year at Mendocino College, Mikhaila states that she is having a good, positive college experience. She has compliments for both teachers and staff. “I’ve taken more than one class with Anne Beck, my painting and drawing teacher. My painting has improved because of her. I like her style of teaching.”
She is also happy to point out that “I used to consider math my absolute Achilles heel. Now that I am taking a Beginning Algebra class at the College, I realize how easy math actually is. I understand it a lot better now. “
And she is especially grateful for Imil Ferrera, at the front desk of the Mendocino College Coast Campus. “I’ve asked him about a hundred questions by now. He is always so helpful.”
When not attending classes at Mendocino College, Mikhaila works at the family business, the Mendocino Chocolate Company. She can walk to school — “I live only one mile away!” — and is happily taking full advantage of educational opportunities at Mendocino College. “I love this College. It’s not too big and it’s not too small for me. I like the fact that it’s where I live, it’s right here!”
For more information about the Mendocino College Foundation activities on the Mendocino Coast or to donate towards any of their programs, contact Coast Development Director Anna Kvinsland at email@example.com or call 961-2203.