Darlene Ryno, Danville, CA (1975-1977)

I earned my AA in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting at Ohlone. I worked many full time jobs to put myself through all four years of college while a full-time student, but was helped by two scholarships I earned. I continued my education at San Jose State, earning a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting and minored in Cybernetic Computer Systems.

I went on to work as an accountant and accounting supervisor for PG&E in San Francisco from 1979-1989. I then moved to Danville, CA, started a family and had two sons. From 1995-2008 I worked for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District as a para-educator in a computer lab, as well as for learning disabled students for two elementary schools and a high school. Then I worked as an administrator for a middle school and in 2009 worked for an auditing firm until I retired.

Having lost my father when I was 14, Ohlone College offered me a place with very caring and nurturing teachers. There was a community feel attending there in the 70’s. Going up those stairs five days a week sure woke you up. I had no financial help going to college, and Ohlone was affordable. I was well prepared for San Jose State, although not for the more institutional feel of a large college. But my goal was to graduate so I could earn a living.

I also won two $1,000 scholarships from Ohlone (a lot in the 70’s), one from the Washington Township Woman in Business. The Ohlone Career Research Center was wonderful. Ohlone was a beautiful campus with good memories and teachers who were very personable and always had time for their students. Since I worked full time (sometimes 50 hours a week) and went to school full time, even when the teacher’s office hours did not fit into my schedule, they always found time for me. At San Jose State, the teachers were rarely there during their own office hours.