Stephen L. Rush
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—Extreme College Student

Class of 2002, AA Business, Accounting Vocational Certificate; CEO, For Fuel Freedom

You’ve heard of extreme sports, extreme weight loss, and even extreme couponing. Well, meet Stephen L. Rush: extreme college student. As an undergrad, Rush took the term “full-time student” seriously—extremely seriously.

During Rush’s time at Crafton Hills College, there was not a minute to waste. “I was doing double-full-time in order to finish my general ed in one year,” Rush explains. His drive to succeed, coupled with the fact that he took a yearlong hiatus from work to pursue his degree, motivated the business student to complete his studies as quickly as possible.

During his time at Crafton, Rush realized the high caliber of instruction offered. “CHC has definitely helped by providing critical thinking skills with real-world application,” he recalls. Rush also saw Crafton as a school where students are able to truly know the staff. “Crafton is a great school with some of the best instructors in Southern California,” Rush recalls. “I was in awe of my accounting instructor, Bob O’Toole, for having prepared the [classroom] materials personally. What he taught stuck because it was practical and understandable. Because of that, I learned new concepts quickly.”

Specifically, Rush remembers the work-study program as a valuable component of his learning process. “[Interning] has the effect of broadening one’s mind to real-world applications of what is being taught in class,” explains Rush. “It will help you be a better communicator and team player and teach the value of risk taking.”

Upon graduation from Crafton, Rush enrolled in business school. “Crafton helped me advance in position and earn a degree at Cal Poly Pomona,” Rush explains. “Which led to my position as CFO for a heavy civil construction contractor in Los Angeles.”

Rush is founder and CEO of For Fuel Freedom, Inc., an energy corporation focused on economically sustainable biofuel. And just as he was the master of time management in college, Rush fills his “extra” time advocating for political issues he’s passionate about and, most importantly, spending time with his wife and son.