In their own words Star Student

How Mendocino College CalWORKs Mom Sarah Gavette Learned to Love Unconditionally

Mendocino College CalWORKs Program

I was born to young parents who divorced when I was seven due to my father’s mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction. As a teenager, I didn’t make good choices. I fell for the first boy who told me he loved me, and having this relationship helped me fill a hole, since my father was never present in my life. We were together for five years and had a child together when we were still children, ourselves.

My daughter taught me how be selfless and how to love unconditionally.

The father of my daughter was abusive, and I did not want my daughter to have to suffer through witnessing her mother be abused like I did as a child. I left her dad when she was only one year old. As a result of trauma, abuse, and the stress of being responsible for a young life without any outside support, I suffered from my own mental Illness and drug addiction in my early twenties. I was able to stop using when I got pregnant with my second child.

As a survivor, single mom to two children, and with a mature perspective, I decided to go back to school and get my degree in Human Services and Psychology to one day give back some of the help I was given.


I received my certificate in human services and was hired as a care manager for transitional youth. When I started this job, I finally felt like I had found a job I liked doing.

Life has taught me that without outside support, healing from past traumas is seldom done. I believe that all the pain I have experienced in life has prepared me to help others deal with those same experiences. I have learned to appreciate the difficult road I have walked, because without it, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

My goal for the future is to give my children a stable life so that they have secure futures. I hope to not always live in poverty. I have a vision for my life that includes supporting my children without government assistance.

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