Student Experience at College of San Mateo
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Student Experience
Damion Caldwell
Damion Caldwell Eastern Washington University, B.S.
San Francisco State University, M.F.T.

When he graduated from high school, Damion Caldwell was eligible to play football for an out-of-state university but chose to attend CSM. His reasoning:  he wanted to play for Larry Owens, the college’s former head football coach. That decision proved pivotal in shaping the direction Damion would follow. He credits “Coach O” and the entire football program at the college –coaches, trainers, athletic director and the rest of the staff – with providing an important support network and the structure he needed to be successful in the classroom and on the playing field. His coaches provided mentorship and counseling, they taught him life skills and they fostered a sense of independence that proved to be important when Damion transitioned to the next step in his college education. After playing two seasons at CSM, he transferred to Eastern Washington University (EWU) where he continued his studies and collegiate football career.

Damion found he was better prepared as a transfer student from CSM than many players that began at EWU as freshman. “CSM gave me a valuable foundation which has served me well beyond athletics.” A highly successful student-athlete, Damion earned a B.S. degree from EUW in developmental psychology. After seven years of working for social service agencies -- which ran the gamut of a mental health facility for youth, medium security prison, mental hospital, group home for foster children and alternative high school, he was ready for the next step: graduate school. Having recently completed a Masters in Social Work from San Francisco State University, Damion is currently a social worker in Child Protective Services with the County of San Mateo. However, his story is far from finished. Taking his experience in social work to the next level, Damion has applied for post-graduate studies with the goal of becoming a social psychologist or a researcher in the area of social welfare.

In an effort to give back what he received as an athlete at CSM, Damion has recently established a nonprofit organization, Walkthrough Inc., which provides “mentoring to community college football players throughout their journey to achieve the highest level of academic and athletic success.” His objective in developing the organization was to replicate the structure and “roadmap” that he experienced at CSM for other student athletes. It is not at all surprising that when he introduced the concept of Walkthrough, Inc. to CSM’s football staff, it was received with overwhelming support.