Because "too late" should be a challenge, not a fact.
Because even the most challenging pathways in life can lead to the best opportunities.
Because leaving home to get an education can be the best way to help better the lives in my nation.
Because the only true limits on my future were my own.
Math is clear, but sometimes life isn’t. Jeffrey, an engineering student with a passion for differential equations and plans to become a civil engineer, didn’t always choose the right path. After losing his father at the age of 13, Jeffrey’s life spiraled out of control. He was flunking his classes in high school (except for math), and found himself in juvenile custody, getting involved with gangs and eventually ending up in county jail.
With a resolve to be a better influence on his younger brother, and even with the encouragement of fellow inmates who believed he could do better, Jeffrey strove to get his life back on track. That’s when he found his way to Los Rios and discovered a group of teachers willing to champion his goals. He took every course and started toward an engineering degree.
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American River College Cosumnes River College Folsom Lake College Sacramento City College
Belief is a big thing. Ask Guelta. Her education began with just that. She attended Mission of Hope School in Haiti, a school that exists because of the generosity of donors who believe in the future of Haiti’s children. Due to severe malnutrition and poverty, only 50 percent of the country’s youth attend school.
At the school, Guelta got to know her personal sponsor through numerous photos and letters, and the Rancho Cordova resident grew to know and believe in Guelta. So much so that she travelled to Guelta’s Haitian village to search for her and offer Guelta the chance to go to college.
Always dreaming of helping her fellow Haitians by learning to grow abundant crops to feed her starving nation, Guelta’s opportunity to go to college loomed bigger than the fear of leaving home. Coming to the United States, learning English, and finding her way in a culture far from home are just a few of the barriers Guelta has overcome, all with an eye on achieving her goal that she can do something significant to help her home country. Guelta is living proof that, sometimes, the “community” in community college is a long way from the classroom.
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Bria knows that setbacks don’t have to stop you. After taking time off to care for her ailing grandmother, Bria became a re-entry student at Sacramento City College (SCC), with an eye toward transferring to a four-year college and a goal of becoming a history professor.
Now, after completing her associate degree at Los Rios and getting accepted into UC Berkeley, she attributes her success at SCC to finding experiences to empower herself. Bria became the president of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society and created the “Scholars to Scholars” peer mentoring program. The student-led program helps first-time and struggling students. Bria capped her SCC experience by giving the commencement address at 2017’s graduation. Her theme: Take your time, live in the moment.
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Until Ivan decided to, no one in his family had ever left Omaha, and no one had gone after a college degree. In fact, in his circle of friends, no one even considered going to college to get ahead. Growing up in a poor family of six in Nebraska, Ivan understood hard work. After high school, he took the jobs available that paid the bills, and that was fine. What changed his perspective was love. With the support of his girlfriend, a professional scientist who now works for California’s Environmental Protection Agency, Ivan found himself in Sacramento with a desire to advance his own dreams.
At American River College, Ivan has just finished his first year and, inspired by his teachers, is passionate and excited about continuing. He hopes to even transfer to UC Berkeley after he finishes at Los Rios.
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