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—Crafton inspired him to continue his education!

With a vast job history David Gerhartz was a self-described bohemian man with a little bit of knowledge of many things. “I was a farmer/rancher, a firefighter, a correctional officer, a Hollywood film editor, a writer, media assistant, and finally a counselor and soon to be educator. I tell young students and classmates often you will never know where your life course will lead you. Your narrative is ever changing. Don't be afraid to try new things and make changes in your life,” says Gerhartz.

As a first-generation college student Gerhartz graduated from CHC in 2016 and is now a lead crisis counselor and supervisor for San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services. “After graduation from CHC, I was offered a part time position as the PREA Coordinator at San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services. My duty was to provide counseling to survivors of sexual assault in the prison/jail and detention centers. After graduation from CSUSB, I was offered a full-time position at SBSAS as counselor I, and in charge of all staff and client caseloads,” states Gerhartz.

The beautiful location in the Yucaipa hills is what drew Gerhartz to CHC. “Being in such a beautiful area and campus made learning more enjoyable. I had attended San Bernardino Valley College in the 80s after high school but finished my education and graduated from Crafton Hills College 30 years later.”

Aside from a beautiful campus Gerhartz believes it has the most wonderful faculty and staff around. “The instructors are very caring and helpful and treated each of us with respect and truly wanted to see each of us succeed. The campus offers so much to the community, not only education resources, but its commitment to serving under-privileged students, the homeless and veteran population as well as students with unique needs, to include everyone in getting a great education,” says Gerhartz.

Gerhartz was a grateful recipient of many scholarships offered by the CHC Foundation and various clubs on campus while attending Crafton Hills College. “The scholarships were very impactful because I was just going through a transition in life from a 30-year career to being laid off and out of work. These monetary incentives helped me continue in school without having anxiety to work full time also,” shares Gerhartz.

One piece of advice Gerhartz offers those trying to choose a college is to not doubt yourself and not give up. He says “I almost quit school at CHC my first semester. I didn't think I could do it.” It was kind words and support of a fellow classmate that kept him going. “He didn't make it to our graduation and died in a car crash days before. But his words will forever be a part of me and inspired me to continue with my education,” recalls Gerhartz

Because of the strong foundation created at Crafton Hills College and with the help of the transfer team on campus Gerhartz was able to transfer to California State University, San Bernardino and receive a BA in Psychology as well as a Certificate in Native Nations/Indigenous Peoples graduating in 2018. Gerhartz returned to school in 2020 and is currently working on a master’s degree in sociology with an emphasis in education. “I hope to return to Crafton Hills College to become an adjunct professor in Sociology in the near future,” states Gerhartz.