Dawnie Slabaugh is a key member of Cradle to Careers for Siskiyous. She is the Director of Public Relations and College Foundation at College of the Siskiyous, located in Weed, California – the northernmost community college district in the state bordering the state of Oregon.
Those who know me know I have been at College of the Siskiyous (COS) for many, many years; first as a student, then as an employee and member of the community. For those who I do not know, I’d like to introduce myself. My parents moved to Siskiyou County when I was three years old. I grew up and attended Big Springs Elementary, Yreka High School and College of the Siskiyous. My husband is a graduate of Weed High School as was his mother, brother, sister and many relatives. Our children attend school in Mt. Shasta and I am very active not just in their education and extracurricular activities, but also with local organizations serving as a Board member for the Mt. Shasta High School Boosters Club and the Weed Chamber of Commerce. Our families have owned businesses, worked in healthcare, and in education. Our roots run deep in this area.
After growing up in Siskiyou County and attending small schools all my life, I found that attending COS was the best option for me to continue my education after graduating from high school. COS offered small class sizes, opportunities to participate in campus clubs, work on campus as a student worker in the Foundation Office, and so much more. I can honestly say attending COS and then receiving my associate’s degree was one of the highlights in my life. Since 1996, I have been very fortunate to be able to work at the school and with an organization that played such an important role in my life and helped me to become the person I am today, not just as a wife and mother, but as a professional.
It was working in the COS Public Relations and Foundation Office where I really learned what an important role education and the college plays in our community. The COS Foundation was established in 1991 and was led for more than 20 years by Dawna Cozzalio (now retired), also a long-time resident of Siskiyou County. The Foundation’s sole mission for all these years has been to support COS students by raising funds to enhance programs and services, support campus renovations, and provide scholarships for students. COS played a vital role in my life as it has for many of our Siskiyou County residents and friends. When you support higher education, you not only change the life of a student, you fuel the economy and enhance your own quality of life. How? Everywhere you look, you can find COS alumni like me. We are educators, nurses, police and firefighters, accountants, city leaders, bankers, business owners, and more.