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Orange Coast students have plenty of different reasons why they attend the Costa Mesa community college – it’s local, more affordable or offers a chance to play a sport, but for Brandon Perez, a 20-year-old business major from Garden Grove, it goes to a larger meaning than that.

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At just 19, Rami Halwani looks like a typical Orange Coast College student, but looks can be deceiving. Halwani is a business major who already has a successful and established business.

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Cindy Ha Soul Son, a 19-year-old graphic design major at Orange Coast College, is as about unique as you’re going to get outside the realm of cartoons and comics.

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During Jitlada Bunruk’s trip to Africa, she and her family turned a wrong corner after leaving their hotel and almost got robbed.

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Becca Cobb’s most memorable off-roading experience was when, on the Rubicon Trail, the Jeep she was riding in with her father almost tipped over.

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When William Young immigrated to the United States at 16 from the Philippines, he had to start over. He left his family, his friends and his culture.

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Austin Olivier, 31, a computer information systems major, is a Marine Corps veteran who served three tours in Iraq.

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Olivia Silke, a 27-year-old psychology major, is interested in the subfield of psychobiology, loves to travel and has a fondness for indie films.

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Joshua Luke Daigle, a 20-year-old business major at Orange Coast College, has called many places home in his life.

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Ryan Razghi, 20, is currently focusing on his biology studies, which he hopes will get him into the medical profession.

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William Baldovinos, 21, used to be a business major at Orange Coast College but switched to biomedical engineering pre-med because of something that started when he was just 15.

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“Live long and prosper,” Alyssa Correa, 21, a business major at Orange Coast College, and self-proclaimed Trekkie said.

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Despite many challenges in his life, Nathan Velasquez, an 18-year-old engineering major, has sky-high plans for his future.

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Ashley Marie Lang, 22, a psychology major, said she has had a few near death experiences and is surprised that she is still alive.

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Elyse Jones, 19, is working her way toward combining her passion for music with her love for science to become a physical acoustic engineer.

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Timmy Tran, 23, is working toward a hospitality management career and has one year left at Orange Coast College.

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Majoring in philosophy at Orange Coast College and working as a fashion show stylist may seem like a hard act to balance, but Monet Salamon pulls it off.

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Born and raised in Old Towne Orange, Jade Ramos, an 18-year-old business major at Orange Coast College, said he is finishing his second semester in complete fulfillment.  

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After being home-schooled throughout her childhood and never before attending a public school, Nicki Barbou, 18, a marine biology major, is attending Orange Coast College where she says she is enjoying a new and fun experience.

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Originally from Sweden, Tanja Rostamian is an Orange Coast College business and marketing major who came to Southern California six years ago.

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As a child, Orange Coast College freshman Ryan Yancey witnessed firsthand the importance of physical therapy.

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Born in Sri Lanka and an immigrant to the United States at age 9, Orange Coast College sophomore Sahiru Liyanage plans to build his way to the top by studying mechanical engineering.

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Orange Coast College film major Mike Larsen is in his fourth semester and is an avid member of the OCC Film Association, the film club on campus.

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Israel Mendez, a 21-year-old part-time Orange Coast College student, is looking forward to spring break while still thinking about what he calls his “crazy” winter break.

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Rina Haney, 18, may be a typical Orange Coast College student most of the time, but during the Renaissance Pleasure Faire she becomes a queen.

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Cristina Merino, an 18-year-old undeclared major, is splitting time between Orange Coast College and Golden West College taking a total of 21 units working toward becoming a veterinarian technician.

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A mortgage fraud investigator by day and an avid baker by night, Katherine Simpson, a 24-year-old accounting major, spends her evenings baking delicious treats.

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Every morning at 6 a.m., 21-year-old Josh Troche gets ready for work controlling traffic for the city of Irvine.

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Going on missions, battling enemies and brandishing weapons are a just a few of Johnny Le’s favorite hobbies.

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Orange Coast College student Josh Schulman is both an avid diver and poet who once found himself 20 feet off the bottom of a huge kelp forest during a diving expedition and recently published his first poem.

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Paul Duvall, a 20 year old who moved to California from Fallon, Nev. about four months ago says he is having the time of his life.

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After finishing up cosmetology school in New York, Ashlee Hauenstein, 25, came to California to achieve her new degree in business at Orange Coast College.

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Tai Danh is an American-born Vietnamese student who finds musical inspiration from his past heart breaks.

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Zodel Pedroza, a 19-year-old business administration major, enjoys the art of combining needles and paint and using a human body as a canvas.

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Traveling and playing beach volleyball is how 19-year-old business marketing and communications major Sara Cardenas spends her free time.

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Tony Sparks began working at Benihana and has faced unexpected challenges that he said changed the way he sees the restaurant industry.

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Orange Coast College student Ronick Quibuyen, 18, came to the United States when he was 11 with his mom after leaving their homeland in the Philippines.

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Dorian Alva, 22, recently graduated with a mechanical engineering degree and has been working as an electronics electrician for the last two years.

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After being in foster care when he was younger, Jeremiah Shane has started a new beginning at Orange Coast College. 

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Kullen Baker has looked beneath the sea and has found not only a new world there, but his life’s passion too.

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When not in the classroom focusing on her psychology studies, Nicole Smith said  she spends almost all of her free time going to rock ’n’ roll shows throughout Southern California.

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With another semester approaching its end, David Nash, a 23-year-old film student at Orange Coast College, said he plans to spend it doing the one thing he loves most: surfing.