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Misty Jolly


Misty Jolly

Grad Stories (2016)

For Misty Jolly, setting a good example for her children is priority.

Misty Jolly had every intention to go to college after she graduated from high school, but realized that earning money was more important. In 2005, Jolly got married and later had a son. Then in 2009, she gave birth to premature twin girls who spent the first month of their life in a NICU. During this trying time, her marriage was failing due to verbal and physical abuse. She decided to file for divorce and has never looked back.

Jolly became a single mom of three, two of which were preemies and needed special care. Her dad stepped in and provided emotional support for her and her family, but became ill with end stage emphysema and passed away in 2011.

It was not until she was 29 that she decided to enroll at Norco College.

“The first school I looked up on Google was Norco College so I applied in the fall of 2013. Once I started my college experience, I never stopped. My kids motivate me and I want to make sure I set the best example I can for them.”

Jolly credits the CalWORKs program and staff for helping her succeed in college. In fact, she holds a part-time job at the CalWORKs/Outreach office.

“Daniela McCarson has been a huge factor in my success. Through the program she and the staff helped me with school supplies, books, and parking, without judgment. They just inspired and pushed me to do my best.”

Jolly recalls how professor Nikki Capps influenced her career path.

“When I took her English 1A course, she saw something in me that I didn't quite see myself and that was my ability to help others. She emailed me right after the semester ended and offered me a position in the Learning Resource Center as a writing tutor and a position as a lab aide in the Writing Lab. It was because of this that I realized I would enjoy being a teacher.”

After graduating from Norco College in June, Jolly will attend Cal Poly Pomona to pursue an English major.

“Ultimately I would like to teach and would love to come back and teach at Norco College.”

Jolly received the Alan D. Pauw endowed scholarship and was awarded the Soroptimist International Live Your Dream scholarship.

“This is emotional for me because something I never thought I would accomplish has surpassed being a dream; it has become a reality and I'm forever grateful to Norco for helping make my dream a reality.”