Pittsburgher Becomes California Convert

Posted on May 11, 2011 by

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Kerri Denise Owens, California Borough

By Lauren Burgess
Kerri Denise Owens, 22, formerly of Pittsburgh, is one of a few students who chooses to live in California Borough while attending a college other than California University of Pennsylvania. A regular customer of Quizno’s, Owens orders a chicken carbonara sandwich, cheddar broccoli soup, and Mountain Dew most days.

Owens started out at Cal U because it was close and her sister, Kelly, also attended Cal and graduated in 2005. Owens wanted to follow in her sister’s footsteps and take over the house her sister had. However, by 2008, Owens stopped being a student at Cal U, because “I could not get into the going to classes every day and waking up early,” she said. She is now taking classes online for Westmoreland Community College, studying travel and tourism. “With the right neighbors, community surroundings, and peaceful environment, California Borough is my home,” Owens says.

Even though Owens dropped out of Cal U, she continues living in the borough because she likes the surroundings and her neighbors, she said. She loves to sit on her front porch and watch the people and traffic go by, and she loves how everyone says, “Hi,” as they walk by. When Owens first saw the town and campus, “It looked depressing and kind of sad with how there were really no stores, food shops, or restaurants.” However, after she started living in the borough, she started to like the town being quiet and not overpopulated.

Owens attended Baldwin High School and her first job was working at Cold Stone Creamery in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. She worked there until they closed the location in 2006. Next, she worked at Macy’s until 2009. The greatest thing these two jobs gave her, she said, was her first new car, a 2009 blue Chevy Cobalt. She said blue is her favorite color.

Her current job is as a cook/ driver for Tutor Time Childcare Center in South Hills. She cooks, tutors the kids in math, and drives the children to schools or possibly home with the Tutor Time bus. Owens said this is the best job she has had because at the end of the day, she feels good to have helped a child learn something new.

Owens lives with her cat, Conc, and is an aunt to her sister’s son, Hunter, 1. Owens is the daughter of Kim and Dennis Owens of Pittsburgh.

Although Owens enjoys living in California Borough, she said snow removal is a problem. During the February 2010 snowstorm, “I was stuck at my house for three days because they didn’t touch the roads and when they did clean off roads, they didn’t use salt. They used sand, which made for horrible traction on the roads when I finally did get out of my driveway,” she said.

She also suggests that someone open a coffee shop or café-style place in town because she said she feels it would be a beneficial attraction.

Despite these minor issues, Owens still loves living in California Borough, she said. For now, the borough is her home, she said, and she’s not sure if she will move back to Pittsburgh just yet. She said she’s also found that “It is true; college is not for everyone. But even if you go and stop, you can always go back. It is never too late,” she said.

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Posted in: Profiles