Grad Stories (2017)
School was never an easy chore for Giovanna Mireles. At the early age of six, she was diagnosed with ADHD.
“I hated going to school because I struggled. I could not focus and felt like I was always in trouble.”
She recalls having to repeat second grade and feeling embarrassed. Her mother did not want to give her medication and instead turned to behavioral therapy. Mireles said the therapy was a good option, but it still did not help her with retention and focus, which made school so much harder.
Mireles continued to push through and enrolled in college after high school. She ended up at Norco College in fall 2014. Unfortunately, her studies were suffering and was put on academic probation. In fall 2015, everything changed for the better, she joined PUENTE and her grade point average started to increase. She also participated in special programs including Student Support Services (SSS).
“Because of PUENTE and SSS, I made it to the dean’s list and started to believe in myself again. I encourage students not to lose hope and take advantage of the programs and resources available.”
Mireles credits David Payan and Hortencia Cuevas, her PUENTE and SSS counselors for pushing her to get involved and never giving up on her.
Currently, Mireles is working for the college library and will serve as a student mentor for Summer Advantage program.
On June 8, 2017, Mireles graduated with a Social & Behavioral Sciences degree and will transfer to UC Santa Cruz. She plans on earning a bachelor’s in psychology and becoming a college counselor. Mireles wants to give back to the system that helped her succeed when the odds were against her.
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