April 12, 2004
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or mstepanovich@csub.edu

A young man who has been down on his luck will see his luck change abruptly on Tuesday. An official from California State University, Bakersfield will present a CSUB acceptance letter to the man on the “Dr. Phil Show.”

Kendyl Magnuson, associate director of admissions and records, will appear on the show, which airs Tuesday (April 13) at 3 p.m. on KGET Channel 17, to present John – the show only identifies him by his first name – with a letter admitting him to CSUB for the fall quarter.

“This all started because John wrote a letter to Dr. Phil McGraw looking for assistance getting into college,” Magnuson said. “We (CSUB) already had his application for admission. He was being considered through the Educational Opportunity Program, and EOP was in the process of making his admission decision. So without telling EOP about Dr. Phil, I asked if they were going to admit him. I showed EOP his ACT score, which was a 29, which places him in the top 5 percent of all ACT test takers. So they said, yes, we’ll take him.

“So then I called the show back, and they asked me to come down and hand him his admission letter on the show. So they flew me down, had limo waiting for me, took me to the Paramount Studios where the show is filmed. Dr. Phil introduced me and I came up on stage and gave him an admit letter, a CSUB sweatshirt and a book bag.”

John, who lives in Bakersfield, has been in foster care virtually his whole life, Magnuson said. “He’s attended 14 or 15 high schools, and because of all that moving around, his high school transcripts don’t reflect that he was put in college prep courses. So even though he’s very bright, we had to admit him as a special-admit through EOP.

“Here’s a great example of the value of Educational Opportunity Program and what it does for first-generation, low income, disadvantaged students. Without EOP, John might very well have slipped through the cracks. But thanks to EOP, he’s now in a position to change his life.”

One of John’s goals is to go to law school, earn a law degree and become a child advocate, Magnuson said.

One of the other people who was part of Tuesday’s segment was Victoria Rowell, an actress on the daytime drama “The Young and the Restless,” who was a foster child as a youth, Magnuson said. “She has created a foundation to help foster children, Rowell Foster Children Positive Plan, at www.rowellfosterchildren.org. Ms. Rowell gave John a $2,500 scholarship, a laptop computer of his choice and a guaranteed internship with Sony Corp.”

Magnuson said he’s looking forward to seeing John on campus soon. “We’re excited about John beginning work on his college degree at CSUB, and we’re looking forward to his graduation in a few years,” he said.