Helping to transform the lives of young people in the Coachella Valley motivates Rod Hendry in his role as president with the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus Advancement Board. Members of the PDC Advancement Board believe in higher education, support the mission financially, and act as ambassadors in the community.
In the past, the Coachella Valley has had a dilemma: Many students who leave the valley to attend a four-year university never return to begin their careers here. “To ensure the economic future and development of the Coachella Valley, we need a diverse, educated workforce,” Hendry says. “We have to provide students a local, public, four-year-university option. The Palm Desert campus helps address that need by offering a quality education and an elevated student experience.”
“Predominantly, our students are the first in their family to attend a higher education institution,” he says, recalling the organization’s scholarship recipients sharing their personal pathways to higher education. “Although there are a myriad of stories and circumstances, the underlying theme is always the same: a hope for a better future for themselves and for their families.”
“An educated community also provides hope for an enduring local economy. It benefits the community to support their local university, as these educated individuals have the capacity to broaden and strengthen our local economic engine. This educated workforce,” he adds, “will continue to attract new industries to the area, adding economic diversity and durability.”
VIDEO: Rod Hendry chats about retaining local high school students to enroll at CSUSB Palm Desert campus.