EOPS and CalWORKs
Student Spotlight (2020)
My name is Jennifer Lugo and as a first-generation/Latina/single mom/college student, I had no idea what I was doing. I remember showing up to general counseling during the summer before school started and while shaking, telling the counselor: “I signed up at Norco. now what? I don’t know where to go from here.” It was the counselor who not only told me what to do next but proceeded to walk me to SSS so I could pick up an application. If I’m being honest, I had no idea what I was applying for, but I applied anyways because I knew I was going to need all the help possible. From SSS I found out about EOPS, from EOPS I found out about CARE and from CARE I found out about CalWORKs. I was very confused at first because asking for help and joining things was way out of my comfort zone, but I did it anyways and was blessed to be accepted to all 4 programs. With time I became more involved. I joined HOPE which stands for Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, became an SSS mentor and joined the Active Minds club. Sadly, those were cut short due to Covid. Before I had enrolled myself to school my fiancé at the time had me choose between school and him. He did not want me to gain independence and wanted me to have to rely solely on him. Gladly I decided to not be scared of the unknown for once in my life and chose school which resulted in me getting left with our child. As painful and as scared as I was at the time to have to raise a daughter alone, I knew that by choosing school I was choosing a better life for my daughter and myself and that is something I will forever be proud of. #NoRegrets. I was expected to fail by the person that should have believed in me the most, but I didn’t. I pushed through, I cried, I became addicted to coffee but today I proudly stand here as proof that anything is possible. Sometimes the hardest decisions are the best ones. I am thankful for every counselor and ed advisor that had to deal with me constantly second guessing myself. You all played a huge role in getting me to where I am today, and I know I would have struggled so much to get here without you.
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