Derick Matthew Talay – Leading By Example

At the age of 15, Derick Matthew Talay and his mother immigrated from the Philippines with hopes of achieving the American dream and pursuing higher education.

Derick’s enrollment at COD was a major turning point in his life. As an EDGE/plEDGE student, he received free tuition for two years and seized the opportunity to maximize all of COD’s resources. His single mom had worked tirelessly in Singapore to provide for their basic needs. Touched by her selfless efforts, he became part of the first inaugural College Corps program, where he actively combats food insecurity in the Valley. Last year he volunteered 526 hours of service at FIND Food Bank. He sees his mother’s face in the faces of the students who receive food and household donations from the pantries. This dedication led to Derick being selected as a Statewide Ambassador. Now he represents COD on a statewide level, attends conferences and has met with Governor Gavin Newsom. He is also representing COD in the intensive Leadership Coachella Valley program.

Derick’s contributions extend beyond volunteering into his roles as a student worker. At COD’s Counseling Center, he sees the college’s essential resources in action for thousands of students. At the COD Foundation, he appreciates their impactful work in supporting students. He shares, “I want to become a successful accountant and corporate lawyer so I can give back to COD. It’s important to me that incoming students can take advantage of the same resources I had.”

With college acceptance letters forthcoming and Spring 2024 graduation and making the Dean’s list in his sights, he has made his mother extremely proud by following his dreams and earning four associate degrees: Business Administration, Sociology, Liberal Arts in Business and Technology, Art Humanities and Communication Studies.

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