A photo of Augusta Cheek getting ready to run on the SBVC track.As a high school student athlete, Augusta Cheek was interested in continuing his football career while furthering his education in college. San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) was an easy choice for him. It was a combination of his close ties to defensive coach Kenneth Lawler, who Cheek describes as “ like family to me.”

“I wanted to play football under him and learn his defensive schemes,” he said, adding that he already planned to take advantage of the ways SBVC makes college affordable for its students.

Born and raised in Cordele, Georgia, the anthropology major said he has enjoyed every step of his experience at SBVC.

“San Bernardino Valley College has heightened my confidence academically and has prepared me for life,” said Cheek.

Cheek has the extracurriculars to prove it. He is currently a member of the Associated Student Government (ASG), and football and track and field teams. He plans to transfer to a university in California and to graduate with an anthropology degree while completing the prerequisites for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

With the pandemic changing the landscape of in-person learning, Cheek and his classmates in his Psychology and research methods class were able to work together and build relationships and camaraderie through online learning as if they were still in the classroom.

“Enduring the pandemic has been tough,” said Cheek. “But having a school system where faculty are driven to help students succeed makes it less stressful.”

Once his education is complete, Cheek plans to use his unique perspective when dealing with corporate teams in market research while helping build organizations. He would also like to use the tools and knowledge he learned at SBVC in physical therapy to help influence athletes’ lives in a positive way.

When asked if he would recommend SBVC to family or friends, Cheek was enthusiastic.

“Yes! I recommend anyone I come across who is seeking education to look into Valley College,” he said.’’I will continue to do so given the huge impact that Valley had on me.”