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Broadway singer, Jennifer Singer, thankful for the guidance at COD

Jennifer Singer special to The Desert Sun

I am thrilled to be one of the performers in the upcoming “One Enchanted Evening V,” a Broadway-style performance to benefit College of the Desert's Early Childhood Education Program, and honored to be singing the show's finale.

I have a unique connection to this terrific event, which is sold out, because I am a desert native and a COD graduate. While I was a student there, I met many amazing people who inspired and influenced me, including my drama coach and mentor, the late Michelle Gaines. Michelle motivated me to be and do my very best, both onstage and off. Her discipline, advice and encouragement helped me to stay focused during the toughest of auditions and molded my beliefs and thoughts about the entertainment business. It also helped me to hone my own skills and talents. If it hadn't been for Michelle and other key supporters at COD, doors would not have opened for me to be doing what I love today.

In 2002, I graduated from COD with an associate of arts degree and transferred to the University of California, Irvine, where I earned a bachelor of arts degree in theater. Today I am happy to say that I make my living as a professional singer and dancer. I have performed professionally on cruise ships; for corporate events and conferences; and in regional theater and other venues. Had it not been for the extensive training I received at COD, I don't believe I would have built the foundation necessary to move onward and upward in my life and career.

I am quite proud to participate in this fundraiser for the Early Childhood Education Program. This and so many other programs are vital to the longevity and success of this important educational and community resource. I truly believe in supporting scholarship funding for those who can't afford college. We each have a unique and specific talent to nurture and share.

College of the Desert opens the door to education, life-learning and career opportunities for students of all ages to maximize their potential and thrive as I have. Without this wonderful community asset, we could all be missing out on that next great star or entertainer.

Thanks, COD.

Jennifer Singer is an actor, singer, dancer and College of the Desert graduate. For more information on how to support COD's Early Childhood Education Program, call (760) 773-2561.