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More About Rick

My Heritage: I am Rick Cassar and thank you for taking the time to allow me to tell you about myself.  Both of my grandfathers came to America in the early 1920's from the island of Malta for the promise of a better life. They were offered a wage of $5 a day which, at that time, was well above average. After a few years they sent for their wives and eldest children and, in 1925, my grandmothers brought my parents to America. Both families settled in a place named Corktown, near the old Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan. My mother and my father grew up within 2 blocks of each other in a community that was populated by immigrants.  

The Greatest Generation: Mom was allowed to finish the 8th grade before she had to work and dad was allowed to attend school all the way through high school graduation.  These lifetime sweethearts married in their early 20's and were happily married for 62 years.  My parents were members of "The Greatest Generation" of Americans. My father proudly served in World War II and spent 39 years working at Ford Motor Company.  Dad was a great man, a humble man who loved his family, God and country, much like most of the men of his generation.  He worked hard and came home to his family every night. He was loyal, faithful, loving, and committed. Most of all, he was consistent. He was a man of his word whom you could always count on for support. I am very fortunate to have grown up in a stable, loving, consistent and drama free family.

Small Business Made America What it is Today: My mother was a small business owner. She started a small embroidery company at age 19 and worked for 69 years providing school uniforms for our local community in the suburbs of Detroit.  She stopped working 9 years ago and passed away in 2014, shortly before I was elected to serve on the MiraCosta College Board. I come from a family of hard workers who take nothing for granted and give back to our community. 

Opportunity: I am also fortunate that I was afforded the opportunity to be the first in my family to graduate from college.  My parents, like their parents, sacrificed so that I could have a better life.  I graduated from the University of Michigan at the age of 21 with a double major in Psychology and Sociology and traveled west, ending up in San Diego and attending SDSU to pursue a Master of Science Degree in Counselor Education.  I completed the 45 unit program in 15 months and began working, first as a mental health counselor, and then as a community college professor and counselor.

Service: I have spent more than half of my life serving my community as a professor, a counselor, department chair and academic senator. I have lived in Cardiff by the Sea for 23 years and currently serve as Vice-President on the MiraCosta Community College District Governing Board.

My family: I have a wife, two sons and a daughter. My youngest son attends a public school and my older children attended community college. My daughter is a proud graduate of MiraCosta and UCSD.

My Passion: I believe in the California Community College system. We can take a late bloomer who may have dropped out of high school and give him or her basic skills classes that open the door to  a world of possibilities. I have personally worked with a number students who underperformed in high school and who used the community college to transfer to and graduate from universities. I have personally worked with women who overcame the stigma of mulit-genertional welfare and through the CalWorks Program, earned college degrees and are now supporting themselves and their families. I have personally mentored a first generation college student whose father was a laborer, much like mine. His name is Julio and he earned a PhD from Cornell University after beginning his college career at San Diego City College.

We Build Hope and Dreams: I could go on and on with 34 years of stories but the bottom line is that California Community Colleges make the world a better place. We build hopes and dreams. We build people. We help build self esteem. We build good citizens.  We influence creative thinkers. We create a workforce that make businesses successful.  We offer people skills that enable them to earn living wages and to create decent lives for their families, like my parents and grandparents did for me.  We create wage earners who pay taxes and who fund our social security system. Successful community colleges in California are essential to keep this great state afloat!

Words of Wisdom: My father once told me that all people want is a chance to create decent lives for themselves and their families. California Community Colleges give people that chance. 

My Request: I hope I can count on your vote this November 6. You have my word that, as a guardian of the public trust, I will do everything in my power to ensure that your tax dollars are spent wisely as we influence the generation that will be leading our country and our world.

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me!

Rick Cassar 

Committee to Elect Rick Cassar
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