Our Students, Their Successes.
Each year the California Community College CalWORKs Association honors students through a publication entitled the CalWORKs Portraits of Student Success. The California Community College CalWORKs Association Mission is as follows, " We are a volunteer-run, 501c3 organization recognized as the foremost collective voice for the promotion of education as a vehicle to self-sufficiency for CalWORKs students. We offer education and leadership, foster statewide collaboration and professional growth, and keep our members informed of policy developments. " The Portraits of Student Success publication aims to highlight CalWORKs Students as they overcome life's challenges.
The following College of the Redwoods students were recognized in the 2018-2019 publication:
The following College of the Redwoods students were recognized in the 2017-2018 publication:
*2017-2018 Portraits of Student Success Scholarship Winner. *
My overall goal is to become a first generation college student. There is not one person in my family's history who has ever graduated from college, and I would like to be the first to set an example for other family members. I am currently working towards my Liberal Arts Degree in Humanities and Communications at College of the Redwoods, Del Norte Campus. My plan is to continue my education after graduation to obtain an Early Childhood Education Certification and attend Humboldt State University to complete the Social Work program. My current background includes working with youth and social services professionals in the community. I was raised in foster care while I graduated from high school with an award for Turn-Around-Student of the Year. I have always had the passion and the drive inside of myself to inspire others and to gain an education. Having been raised in foster care, becoming a CASA Advocate, volunteering as a Domestic Violence Advocate for many years, and supervising group homes, it is my passion to help women and children find their voice and support them as they overcome any challenges and struggles they are faced with. With my degree, I would like to continue working with our social systems and prospering youth in our community who are looking for direction and inspiration. My education has given many opportunities to enhance the skills I have already acquired over the years. Professors and faculty staff have been supportive in my journey, as I learn how to overcome my own educational challenges and struggles; they have challenged me to become more. As an individual, I have had the opportunity to speak out for social injustices and gained empowerment in doing so. I have new interests in becoming a leader for groups and clubs. Public speaking is something enjoyable and I would like to continue to assist with social movements that help and inspire the youth in our community. Taking and completing challenging courses at College of the Redwoods has allowed me to learn about freedom of speech and our constitutional rights. Every voice is important and deserves to be heard. I want to help inspire change through my education. Thank you for this opportunity.
Growing up as a small child, I’ve always wanted to be a counselor. I’ve always wanted to help people. I had a hard time in grade school. I had many learning disabilities that kept me from going to college. I never thought I’d never be successful. Before I had my first child at 21, I worked multiple jobs and still did even after my fourth child. I would work two to three jobs until the day my case worker asked, “Why I don’t go back to school?” From there on out I’ve been in school. CalWORKs was a big reason why I got into college. My mother just passed away this October on Halloween. It was very tragic to me and my children. My mother was an addict. My mother was clean off of drugs for 13 years maybe longer. I’m the middle child and only girl my mother had. My brothers are also addicts. So I’ve been around that lifestyle my whole childhood I’m always battling something in my life. My faith in God and in myself keeps me going. My mother helped me in a lot as ways. Now that my mother is gone I really didn’t realize how much she helped me. Financially, physically, and emotionally. I’m in my second semester here at CR studying to be an addiction counselor. I’ve been working, interning, and taking care of my four children. My first semester I passed all of my classes, and not being in school for twelve years, to see the A’s and B’s on my papers was a feeling of success. . With having four children, and not always having the help that I need, coming to school is a success. One of the CalWORKs staff members helped me through every step I’ll never forget the day I finally put a face behind the woman who guided me here. CalWORKs got me schooling supplies, gas cards and meant everything to me. I was welcomed like it was my home with snacks, support, and laughter. Now to be offered a chance to get a scholarship, I feel beyond blessed be able to get a chance for something I never thought I could have.
I plan to become an addiction counselor and I plan to continue to pursue my education. I plan to gain my AA and continue to work in the field of addiction. It is my primary goal to help people with addictions. It is definitely my calling. I have interned with a rehabilitation center for addicts where I educated people where I ran groups about what drugs do to our brain, safe sex, etc. I would meet with people 1:1, complete case notes, discharge clients, help people attend appointments, complete applications for housing, and encourage them in many ways to better their life. To be able to help people get up on their feet, and show them that there is a better life, encouraged and inspired me to be more motivational in my own life.
I have had to overcome many challenges to purse my Business degree like financial hardships, survived abusive relationships, and being a single mother. I must work hard to pay for my books, classes, and living on my own as a single mother. I was in two abusive relationships and have overcome each of them. A blessing came and I had my lovely daughter Haylee who has held me together whether she knows this at her young age or not. At the young age of 1 her Dad decided to leave our family. After this I knew for us to have a good future I had to finish my Business degree. By this choice it would lead to a good career and set a good example for my daughter. This will show her that no matter the struggles you may go through you can overcome them and succeed in life if you are determined and put your heart into it. Within a short time after returning to college I started up my own little business. By going back into school, it has given me the knowledge and confidence to build this. Since I have returned to school with the help of CalWORKs, they have given me the amazing assistance and opportunity to succeed in school. I have gotten A’s in every class I have taken being back.
My name is Sierra O’Leary. I am attending College of the Redwoods to obtain my associates degree in nursing to become a registered nurse. I grew up in a poor household with a struggling mom and a drug-addicted father. By age 15, I started abusing drugs and alcohol, getting involved in crime, and leading a very troubled life. I struggled very badly with depression, and attempted to end my life on several occasions. I left home at age 16, got my first full time job, and graduated from high school via independent studies. To support myself, I worked in the animal industry for years. Working at an animal shelter sent me deeper into depression and alcohol addiction, as I was euthanizing up to ten animals a day, and it was destroying my already fragile spirit. At age 25, I decided to go to college to become a registered nurse. I took classes after work and on my days off, working hard towards accomplishing my dream. I became involved in a very troubled and abusive relationship, falling deeper again into depression and alcoholism, all while continuing to work full time and go to college. I finally found the strength to get out of that relationship and get help for myself, and was left with an eating disorder, lower self-esteem, depression, and hopelessness. I fell deeper into drug and alcohol addiction and attempted to end my life once more. In 2015, I found out I was pregnant, and that day changed my entire life. I decided I needed to change the way I was living and dropped all of my harmful habits and lifestyle. When I was three months pregnant, the father of my child disappeared out of my life, and at that point, I knew that I was going to be raising and supporting my daughter on my own. After my daughter was born, I became a new person and started looking at the world differently. My new-found faith in God and my daughter had saved my life and gave me hope. I decided to work even harder to pursue my dream. The CalWORKs program has helped me to continue pursuing my education, while being able to support my daughter and me. Becoming a registered nurse will allow me to fully support my daughter and I, while being able to use my struggles and my story to help others. I am active in the community by fostering stray animals that are in need, and helping them find forever homes. My goal, when I become a registered nurse, is to earn enough funds to open my own animal rescue and sanctuary, and to employ troubled teens to work alongside the animals. I am very involved in my church and attend Celebrate Recovery regularly. I am currently working through a faith-based step program to continue working on my recovery. Eventually, I am hoping to be able to help others who struggle, be an example of hope, and a light in the darkness.
N. Lee Richardson
I have been pursuing a college degree for two decades; there have been more obstacles than I am able to count which I have had to navigate through. I am a former foster youth, emancipated minor who went from valedictorian to homeless during my high school years. I still managed to graduate with my high school class in 1996 despite my unfortunate circumstances. I struggled with homelessness for a couple years after graduation but worked three jobs, sixty hours a week, to afford rent while juggling a full time college load. In 1999, at age twenty-one, my first relationship left me assaulted, bruised and battered. Once again I struggled with homelessness and dropped out of community college. In 2006, at age twenty-eight, I began working at a Pacifica Radio KPFK in Los Angeles as a sound engineer; this led me back to community college to pursue Music & Recording Arts. Federal financial aid along with part time work at the radio station kept me off the streets. In 2010, I married and my first son was born the day after my 33rd birthday in 2011. However, I surprisingly discovered that my son's father had mental health and addiction issues; once again I found myself fleeing a frightening domestic violence situation. This time, I had a three-month old son to raise and care for without any child support. I applied for Cal Works in Los Angeles when my son was just a toddler and found myself dodging bullets at my ghetto apartment in Echo Park; back where I started, combating homelessness. It was very difficult to find stable employment where I could afford my livelihood in overpriced Los Angeles without a college education. Therefore, I took a leap of faith when I moved to Humboldt two years ago. It took ten months of camping out before I finally found an apartment through the assistance of Housing Action Program. CalWORKs paid for childcare while I completed up necessary Math and Science general education courses to where I am finally eligible to transfer to a four-year university. I was offered a work study position in the Counseling & Advising Office at my college and this helped me to obtain a safe two-bedroom townhome for my son who is now a six years old first grader. I just finished applying to both Cal State and UC universities. In just one year, I have accomplished what seemed impossible. I currently have a permanent, part time position at the college which I began this November and will soon be processing out of Cal Works. I have dedicated my life as an artist/activist towards community beautification projects and mentorship for at risk youth. I will be finishing up my Associates degree in Behavioral & Social Science meanwhile transferring to finish my Bachelors in Music and Studio Art. After completing my bachelor degree, my aspiration is to finish my credentials with graduate studies in Music/Art/Dance Therapy and to work with trauma victims as a recreational therapist.
I have faced many obstacles and hardships in my life that has influence the person I am today. Navigating through the pathway of success and failure, has shaped my personal development. I left my abusive husband after 12 years of marriage and became a single mother of three including a small infant. This has to be the biggest obstacle that I have ever had to overcome. Being a survivor of domestic violence has motivated me to achieve personal success for both my family and myself. I started at College of the Redwoods in 2016, after being out of school for more than 15 years. I struggled with anxiety and fear of failure, because I dropped out of High School when I was 17 and received my GED. I was intimidated and nervous to go back to school after so many years. Going back to school has transformed my whole way of thinking into a growth mindset, forcing me to believe in myself, and live up to my full potential. There will always be residual physical and mental scars that comes with being a survivor, but freeing yourself from your own mental captivity, expands and broadens the horizon to endless possibilities. Today, I am fulfilling those possibilities and have developed into a strong independent woman, focused on my future and success. I have received the Presidential Honor Roll for both semesters I have completed, and have a 3.94 GPA. I have worked extremely hard and I accredit that to my drive. The most influential drive for my success is my three children, Tafarie, Jaleah and Ishanti. Seeing them happy and healthy means the world to me. I also feel that it is important for me to set a great example for them. When they see me studying and achieving my educational goals they will know that hard work and dedication leads to success. I can't wait for them to see me in my cap and gown and graduating with a degree. I also know that the rest of my family will be extremely proud of me as well, as I am a first-generation college student. I am extremely thankful for the opportunities and programs like Cal Works that has given me the tools for success. The support of councilors and advisors that go above and beyond to guide me in the right direction has helped me tremendously. From helping me pick out classes and form an academic plan, to answering my questions, making me feel less intimidated going back to school. There are so many opportunities for a single mom that has allowed me to achieve my goals personally through my education. I would like to receive a degree in Psychology and further my college education, in order to build a career. By obtaining a degree I can then better financially support my family. My long-term goal is to go into Naturopathic Medicine or Acupuncture. I am fascinated with homeopathic and plant medicine, and really enjoy helping people live a healthier life. Psychology plays an important role in helping people live healthier as well. I would like to use my Degree to work with young teens or other women that have been victims of domestic violence. Overall, I am excited to use my new learning skills and added knowledge to better myself and those around me. I am extremely involved in my children’s education and extra-curricular activities. My nine-year-old daughter has been a Northern California Girl Scout for the last three years, and I enjoy helping her and her troop raisemoney through various fundraiser and community activities. My twelve-year-old son attends music classes, practices Jiu Jitsu, and plays baseball. I also enjoy helping him and his team through fundraisers and volunteering as snack shack mom. Last, but not least, my two-year-old attends the College of the Redwoods CDC preschool program, and I love watching her interact with the other children and great teachers that are a part of the program. Though I am a very busy mom and college student, I am thankful for the opportunity to be considered for this great achievement and will continue to apply my hard work and dedication to ensure my success.
The following College of the Redwoods students were recognized in the 2016-2017 publication:
* 2016-2017 Portraits of Student Success Scholarship Winner*
Hello. My name is Dianna Scott, and I would like to express my gratitude for being nominated for this amazing scholarship. When I was notified, I was nearly in tears. I could not believe that I was nominated, and I was overwhelmed with joy, because special opportunities like this do not generally happen to me. I would like to share a little bit of my story, and the obstacles I have had to overcome to reach success in my life, so that you can see why education is so important to me. To begin, I am a twenty-five year old mother of three young children. My daughters are seven and five, and my son is two. My children are my world, and I do all that I can to provide for them. However, my college journey began with a struggle, because at the time, I had a two-year old and a newborn baby; I was juggling college classwork and motherhood as a single parent. I had to stop attending college, and I did not return to school again until four and a half years later. However, this time, I returned to my home town of Hoopa, CA and started attending College of the Redwoods Klamath-Trinity Instructional Site. I am currently pursuing an A. A. in Psychology for transfer. I have always had a passion for helping youth in some way, but I was not sure of what I wanted to do. In my second semester, while taking a personal growth and adjustment class, I decided to major in psychology. My long-term goal is to obtain a Master’s Degree and start my own therapy practice. I have a great passion for helping others overcome struggles in their lives. I had a difficult upbringing, and I know from my own experiences and hardships, just how important support is. As an adult, I have struggled within my college journey due to addiction in my family. I have done my very best to hold my family together throughout the years, and I throughout Humboldt County as an advocate and mentor to youth and families experiencing trauma. I am currently involved in Parents In Training Inc. , YouthAbility and the Up-River Caregiver Association. I also have been a part of many youth activities regarding my children and their school functions. Throughout Humboldt County as an advocate and mentor to youth and families experiencing trauma. I am currently involved in Parents In Training Inc. , YouthAbility and the Up-River Caregiver Association. I also have been a part of many youth activities regarding my children and their school functions. The CalWORKs Program has been very supportive and helpful. I have received career advising, employment opportunities and training, educational supplies, travel assistance and an extra supportive grant. I could not imagine how difficult my college experience would have been without the support of the CR CalWORKs Program. Furthermore, I have always felt welcomed and not ashamed to be receiving assistance from the CalWORKs Program. They have helped me build a foundation towards self-sufficiency and have helped me gain the tools needed to create a reachable career path.
My college education journey has been a very long one. I started in 2003, a year after graduating from high school, because I never planned to go to college. I just wanted to be an adult as quickly as possible; when I found myself working two jobs, I knew I needed to work on my education. I made good grades in high school, but I did not take any college prep courses, so my work was cut out for me. I love learning, and maybe that’s why I took random classes with no specific goal in mind. After two years, I found myself a single parent and homeless. I ended up working for a great nonprofit company, but there was no room for advancement at my education level. I decided to go back to college, but this time, with a goal in mind. After a few more semesters, my academic drive faded; I had started to build a family with a man, and I found I needed to return to the workforce in order to support us all. At this point, I started my own business, in order to have a flexible schedule. In early 2011, my husband and I fell into addiction. I lost custody of my four-year-old daughter and fought for fourteen months to get her back. In those fourteen months, I completed the Healthy Moms program, got clean and sober, held a job and found an apartment. In July 2012, I got my daughter back and started rebuilding my life, my business and my family. Fall 2015, I returned to college to finish up. My youngest family member turned 2, and my daughter was now 8, and I was more determined than ever to show all my kids that I could finish what I started. I had a clear goal to achieve an A. S. in Business and transfer to Humboldt State. Along the way, my other courses have added up to an Associate’s in Behavioral and Social Sciences and an Associate’s in Humanities and Communications. However, spring 2016 proved to be the lowest point in my life; my marriage was ending. I was very able to deal with my marriage ending, but then I found out my daughter was subjected to sexual abuse for years. This was a terrible time for me and my children. It was emotionally damaging and traumatizing on many levels. Somehow, we came through the ordeal, now stronger than ever. Upon reflection, I have learned that during every rough time in my life, I would change gears and not follow through with my educational goals. Yet, this time was different. I pushed forward. In fact, I am attending HSU in spring 2017 and graduating College of the Redwoods this semester after 14 years. Once I complete my work at HSU with a degree in business, I will continue develop my business and will eventually turn my focus to International business. The CalWORKS program has helped me with educational planning, books, supplies and transportation costs. Without the extra help and support from CalWORKs, I would have had a very difficult time getting this far. Thanks to the support of CalWORKs, and with my life experiences and determination, I am stronger than ever.
Since starting college I have had to face several challenges. As a father I have had to learn how to seek my education, and balance my responsibilities to my family. It is often hard to provide for a family while donating time as a full time student. Often it can feel like a juggling act to balance work, study, and spend time with my family. I have a goal to provide a better life for myself and family that makes the struggles I face worth it. I have found a career goal that I truly wish to meet. I would like to be an educator in future. I have a deep interest in history and sociology that has made me wish to be a history teacher. Since I am currently a social science major I have taken several courses in the social science area, and done well in them. The biggest success I have had in my education is being enrolled in college. I am the first person in my family to go to college. Enrolling in college and seeking a career that requires a higher education is a success for me in itself. I feel successful every time I pass a class that brings me closer to my degree. The CalWORKs program has been a tremendous help to me in my educational goals. The books and supplies that CalWORKs program provides is a tremendous benefit. My vehicle broke down over the summer. I was enrolled in a summer class and found it very difficult to make it to campus. The CalWORKs program provided me with a bus pass that allowed me to make every class. I have found this program to be one of the biggest supports I have in my education. After completing my degree I hope to find a career that provides me with the security I seek for my family. I am not interested in material things, I only wish to provide a comfortable financial future for my family. Self-sufficiency for me is not only making more money, but having the ability to provide for myself in more than one way. I have taken an interest in the ability to power a home with alternative energy, grow a sustainable garden, and learn services I can perform rather than pay for them. To become a sufficient person requires more than just money in my opinion. The ability to work as well as provide for myself is how I plan to become self-sufficient. I have been a volunteer in the LIGHT center on campus. I enjoy helping people with anything that I can. This last semester I have started working in a senior care facility. As a veteran I have found a great amount of pleasure in my job. I have the privilege to provide a service to older veterans. It is a great feeling to help those that have served in the military, and see them given the respect they deserve.
Returning to school after almost five years away was a challenging experience. I had already overcome a lot of challenges in my life, including substance abuse and being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and depression. A year and a half after graduating high school, I was able to get clean and sober. Four months later, I found out that I was going to be a father. Sadly, my ex-wife has severely suffered from similar issues as myself and has not been able to overcome her additions. I am now a single father, having full custody of our son since he was one year’s old. In the years that followed, I worked many jobs including dishwashing, mechanics, and painting. At the age of twenty-one, I permanently injured my knee while working as a painter. As a result of this injury, I am no longer able to work physical labor jobs. I was nervous and scared not knowing where my life would go without any source of income, or how I would take care of my son. Up until this point, I had only focused on what I needed to do just to get by, and I had no idea what would happen. It was during this time I became involved with the CalWORKs program. Because of CalWORKs, I was given the opportunity to earn a college education, and I started classes at College of the Redwoods in 2015. Having a diagnosis of ADD, meant that one of the hardest parts of coming back to school was learning not only how to be organized with books, binders, and notes, but also with remembering schedules of classes and appointments. It was challenging trying to figure out which classes I needed, how to sign up for them, and how to keep up with all the different pieces of paperwork required for school. I could not have made it work without the help of the all the counselors and workers in the CalWORKs program who have been there for me every step of the way. The CalWORKs program provided me with much needed supplies such as: paper, pencils, flash drives, calendars and most everything I needed to be successful. Over time, being back in school gave me a new perspective on life. I have made many friends along the way who have helped me continue moving forward. I also met an amazing teacher in a computer class, who helped me realize my potential and passion for technology. He has met with me multiple times outside of class and has always encouraged me in class. I finally found something I wanted to do that could also support my family. After graduating from College of the Redwoods, I plan to attend Humboldt State University to attain a Bachelor’s degree in programming. After this, my plan is to move to the bay area, where there is a large technological community and many programming job opportunities. I have just a few semesters to go at College of the Redwoods, and am truly amazed at the progress I have been able to make both in school and in my private life, since participating in the CalWORKs program. None of this would have been possible without the support of CalWORKs, my teachers, and my friends who push me to do better each day.
When I started attending College of the Redwoods in the Fall of 2013, I was scared. I was already juggling life as a single mother with an eight-month-old baby boy, and I was only seventeen years old at the time. Since I graduated early from high school, I was confident I could do the work, but I was not sure if I could manage college classes with a baby and also a job on top of it. It is now three years later (Fall 2016), and I am happy to say that I have not given up. However, it has not been easy, and I had some major setbacks and challenges. There were times when I had no childcare and had to bring my son with me to class. I also had to miss classes in order to work enough hours to make enough money to scrape by and pay all my bills. At one point, my son and I were homeless and couch surfing. It was hard-times, and it was especially hard to live day-to-day with so much unknown. I struggled to find transportation to and from my classes; I did not have a car and could not always afford the bus fees, but I was determined and found a way to make it work. However, life got even harder than I could imagine. I became pregnant with my daughter right after I had experienced a serious health crisis. I had no choice but to drop all of my classes. Unfortunately, when I got back on my feet and was ready to return to college, I got some bad news. Since I owed back financial aid from dropping my classes that semester, could not re-enroll in college until I paid it back. This was something I could not do. Today, my life it better. I was stuck and needed help. Thanks to CalWORKs, I started receiving support where I needed it. CalWORKs connected me with vital resources, like childcare, and helped me get back into college. CalWORKs staff also connected me with testing for possible learning disabilities, and I was formally diagnosed with A. D. D. This has been life-changing. Even with all of the setbacks I have endured over the years, I am proud to share that my cumulative G.P.A. is currently 3.5. In addition, I currently work with adults with mental disabilities through California Mentor, and I love it. Once I complete my A. S. Degree at College of the Redwoods, I plan to transfer to Humboldt State University to work towards a Master’s Degree in Sociology. I am continuing to work for California Mentor in my current position, and once I complete my Master’s Degree, I will achieve my ultimate goal of moving up to case manager. I hope my story inspires other parents to keep moving forward to reach their goals.
I came to Humboldt County in 2000, when my oldest daughter was one, I and worked as a nurse’s aide to make a better life. The CalWORKs program helped me with childcare and other resources, which enabled me to maintain full-time employment. My longtime goal was to become a Registered Nurse, so I enrolled at College of the Redwoods in 2013. I feel it is very important for me to have a good career, so I can better care for my family, give back the community and set a good example. I have had a long journey getting to this point in my life. I grew up in Alaska in a less than privileged home; however, much love and praise helped me overcome many challenges. When I was 18, I lost my firstborn to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Though always a strong person, I could not fathom how I could possibly survive such loss. Some of history’s most brilliant minds have experienced severe trauma. With time, I realized just how strong and positive I am. I learned to find the blessings in disguise, even in the darkest of times, and I trust that there is a higher purpose. Nothing can take away my positive attitude and loving spirit. It has taught me perseverance, and I am better prepared to help others in similar circumstances. Stuttering is another challenge that I have had to overcome throughout my life, and it made returning to school scary. However, it has made me a stronger person and a good writer, which has paid off with a referral to the English tutor program. I look forward to helping fellow students with writing, and I currently participate in work study on campus in Disabled Students Programs & Services. Over the years, I have gained many friends with my good nature and overwhelming need to help others. Though I have no relatives locally, I have created a large family here and have become well integrated into the community. I have three children, ages 2, 9, and 17, and a brilliant, yet disabled, life partner with Crohn's disease. These challenges, on top of being six months pregnant when I enrolled at College of the Redwoods, made it very difficult. But, I was determined to succeed. I took my final exams a week early to avoid the possibility missing my exams, if I went into labor during finals week. The next semester, I took three online classes while caring for my infant. Through it all, I maintained mostly A's and a few B’s and was invited into the honors program. I could not have done any of this without the support from the CalWORKs program and their amazing staff. The empathic and knowledgeable counselors are always there when I need them and have led me in the right direction. It will truly feel good to have a career that I can be proud of. Being a Nurse has been a longtime dream and attending college and achieving my RN is of utmost priority to me. It will feel great to “give back” to society and the community that has supported me and my family through the years.
The following College of the Redwoods students were recognized in the 2015-2016 publication
While attending the College of the Redwoods in Del Norte County, Rachel has been a stellar student where she earned a 3.5 grade point average in the fall of 2014 and a 3.7 in the spring. Rachel participates in the TRiO program where she tutors other students who may be struggling academically. Rachel plans to earn her AA degree in Business in the spring 2016, and plans to transfer to Humboldt State University. Rachel plans to earn a BA in Business with a emphasis in Finance. Caylor Cuevas, Student Academic advisor stated that, "Rachel’s tenacity to accomplish life goals is stellar, and I am confident that Rachel will obtain self-sufficiency through her hard work and diligence. I am so delighted that she is being honored. "
Kayla has faced many life challenges including housing instability, a separation from her daughter's father, and relocating across the state. Kayla has a love for life and it shows in her ability to remain positive regardless of the circumstances. Currently Kayla is working at the Child Development Center, and plans to major in Early Childhood Development. Kayla has a true love of learning and states that, "College has been a gem in my life, and the support of the CalWORKs program has helped me reach my goals during this challenging time. It is allowing me to nurture my passion for learning and is giving my life a whole new meaning. I feel that I am blossoming as a person, a student, and, most importantly, a mother. I am showing my daughter that anything is possible no matter what the challenge. "
Samantha is a single parent, an honors program student, and senior tutor at our writing center. In addition to her very busy school and work schedule, Samantha volunteers additional time “off the clock” as a tutor of her peers. She is committed to serving others and is a great addition to College of the Redwoods. Although Samantha is a mother and a worker, she still manages to find time to maintain an impressive 3. 65 grade point average!