Lori Pearce first came to College of the Redwoods in 2014 to study Behavioral and Social Sciences. Unfortunately, at the end of her first semester a family emergency forced her to take the following semester off. She spent that semester with her niece who had to undergo double lung, heart, and kidney transplants at Stanford Hospital. Lori's neice, who is like a daughter to her, was recovering at the hospital for six months, and Lori traveled back and forth from Humboldt to the hospital to help. After that, she decided to take a few years off from school. She became a foster parent and eventually adopted a little girl that she received at two days old. Lori finally decided to come back and finish her degree in 2018 and never looked back. She just finished her AA in Behavioral and Social Science last fall and she will earn her second degree, AS in Social Work, this spring (2021).
Like many students, navigating the realities of the pandemic is the most challenging experience Lori has had as a student. Juggling online classes for herself and her children while also finishing the intern hours necessary for her degree is not easy. Luckily, the CR Child Development Center has remained open and she has been able to take her 4-year old daughter there while doing her internship. “I am taking 12 units and it's very challenging having a four-year-old and a 10-year-old that needs to do on-line school himself,” says Lori.
But all in all, the experience has been positive. “I have had an amazing experience here at CR,” she says. “All of my teachers have been amazing. I have even become personal friends with one instructor. She always goes above and beyond for her students.” Lori received two $1000 scholarships from the CR Foundation, which helped her to keep coming back each semester and she is grateful for the EOPS program, the DSPS program, and the Financial Aid program at CR, which she credits for making it possible to fulfill her educational goals. Lori plans on attending HSU next fall to earn her Bachelor's in Social Work.
Lori also has two grown daughters, one is a sophomore at the University of New Mexico, and one just got her AS degree in Science last spring at CR and currently has one more year of a wait before she enters the CR Nursing Program.