Growing up in Yucaipa, Brendon Hamilton could always hear the clock tower at Crafton, and when it came time to choose a college, he knew exactly where he wanted to go.

Hamilton is studying psychology, and as a member of the Psychology Club, visited Portland last month for the Western Psychology Association Convention.

"This was fun and rewarding," Hamilton said. "I learned a lot and made connections with students in the club."

He was also a member of the swim team, signing up after a swim instructor recommended he join.

"I figured that it would be a good way to meet people and get into better shape," Hamilton said. "The swim team also led me into becoming a lifeguard at the Crafton pool."

Being part of the team was a "great experience," he added. "The team is led by an awesome coach. Though the team was always on the small side, it was filled with nice and interesting people."

Hamilton is preparing to transfer to Cal State San Bernardino, to further his psychology studies. He worked with a graduate student there for a Western Psychology Association research project, and got to hear more about the program from her.

"My plan after Cal State San Bernardino is just to continue on with my education, so wherever that takes me, the end goal is a PhD in psychology," he said.

Hamilton found his time at Crafton "challenging at some points," but very enriching.

"I met so many great instructors and learned from all of them not only academic lessons, but life lessons," he said. "That's shaped who I am as a student and an individual."