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ita Kotyay began taking college classes at the Los Rios colleges when she was still in high school. After working hard for many years to get through college coursework, Kotyay found her passion in nursing, attending American River College. “I find myself grateful that Los Rios and local hospitals work together in opening hospital facilities to students,” Kotyay said. “l’m also grateful the Los Rios Foundation provides funds for students like me through scholarships.” Kotyay said the Los Rios Foundation has been instrumental in helping her pay for the Sac State Bridge program which allows her to concurrently take Los Rios and Sac State classes. She recently received a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Kotyay eventually wants to become a nurse anesthesiologist for small towns that can’t always afford to have a full surgical team onboard. “To me all of these opportunities are allowing me to grow immeasurably in my knowledge and my experiences, both in the mind and the heart,” she said. More than anything, Kotyay is grateful for the life she has and the joys and sorrows she sees in this new profession. “I am able to see the excitement of recovery after a heart attack, as well as witness the dignity of a dying person,” she said. “On the other hand there was the great joy of birth and unwavering hope in the eyes of my pediatric patients, and always, always I saw that courage in the faces of my patients as they faced each new day.”

The American River College student added that she is constantly reminded of what a remarkable thing it is to just be alive. “As I step into hospital rooms, into chemotherapy infusion centers, operating rooms, or heart cath labs, over and over again I am reminded of what a remarkable thing it is to have working feet that can carry me to any cry for help and hands that can hold another’s,” she said. “And what a great honor it is for me to be alive, to have my life intersect with people who are not their illness or a statistic or an insurance dollar sign. No, they are whole stories, just like you and me.” Kotyay believes that because of the partnerships Los Rios colleges have with the medical community, she was able to find her passion and looks forward to helping others every day.

YOU CAN HELP! Founded in 1978, the Los Rios Foundation mission is to help remove financial barriers and support students who are striving to not only enrich their own lives, but also those of their families. By doing so, we are able to prepare students to have a lasting effect on the future of our community and region. Individuals like you help us partner with our colleges to support educational programs that further student success and make a positive impact on the region. This year, the Los Rios Foundation awarded nearly $500,000 in life-changing scholarships. Donations from our community partners helped us to provide state of the art technology to our Career

and Technical Education programs, bring art and culture onto our campuses and provide faculty and students with opportunities to attend once in a lifetime conferences and competitions. We also awarded more than $20,000 in Student Emergency Fund grants to help students stay in school, in spite of unexpected emergency situations that could derail a student’s future plans. With the help of our donors, we are changing the course of the lives of our students – and the region - for the better. Please partner with us today, and help make the dreams of a student become a reality. Make a donation today at Los Rios Matters | SPRING 2017 9 

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The second edition of Los Rios Matters is here! We hope you enjoy all the wonderful things happening at CRC and around the Los Rios district...

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