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11/23/2013

Love of Music Leads to Advanced Education and

Dream Career

Jesus Palominos always dreamed of a career in music but never thought it was possible – particularly because he is legally blind. Born in Indio and spending most of his childhood years in the Coachella Valley, Jesus faced an uncertain future following high school.

Pursuing his love of music and becoming a professional musician didn’t seem like a practical reality, but once he began classes at College of the Desert (COD), Jesus was able to develop a true vision for a future life and career in music.

"My professors really encouraged me to pursue the classical guitar, which I was so surprised and happy to hear after having so many doubts,” Jesus explains. “And with the special program at the College for people with disabilities – including tutors, software, and magnifiers – it really helped me overcome my disability and go for my dream.”

After completing basic courses at COD, Jesus applied to California State University, Fullerton. He was told he would be perfect for their classical guitar program. Leaving the Coachella Valley for Orange County seemed scary at first, but it was – without question – the place he felt he was meant to be.

Jesus earned his four-year degree, and is currently close to completing his master’s degree. Following graduate school, Jesus says he would love to come back to the Coachella Valley, open his own studio for kids and teach a guitar course at the college that gave him his start. “I really want to give back, because the Valley is so fortunate to have an institution like College of the Desert. It makes a difference in people’s lives – it made a difference in mine.”

Everywhere you look in our community, COD and the Foundation have helped change lives for the better through higher education. You’ll find many ways you can change lives and our community for the better here on our site and in our Guide to Giving section. Or, call us at the Foundation, 760-773-2561.