In their own words Star Student

CalWORKs Mom Lydia Waters is Learning Redemption on Her Way to Education at Santa Rosa College

Santa Rosa Junior College

I am a 36 year old single mother of two beautiful children, pursuing a transferable AA in Philosophy and Spanish. I was accepted to Sonoma State University, which is a huge accomplishment for me. I know education will allow me to follow my passion of helping others.

By studying philosophy, I have learned so much about other cultures, religions, logic, and critical thinking.

With no father and a drop-out mother, I had no guidance, role models or support as a youth. This resulted in low self-esteem, which led to being stuck in a verbally abusive marriage by age 20.  Life in the winters of Reno, Nevada became too difficult with no car, family or friends to help me.  I also had just had my first ear surgery due to chronic ear problems throughout my life. Today I have significant hearing loss in both ears.

Living on my own has been extremely challenging for I was not taught essential life lessons like money management, responsibility, team work, and consistency. This ruined my chances with maintaining financial stability.  I realize I have made mistakes, and my transcripts show this. I have spent the last few years focusing on following my academic goals.  I have been very consistent since 2012, bringing up my GPA, improving my completion rate, and most importantly, overcoming life’s obstacles.

Trying to balance school, work and kids is very hard if you lack the essential skills that equip you for life.

The desire to reach my academic goals has contributed to being consistent with classes, homework, and studying. I have better time management, improved focus, and use the tutorial center.

The CalWORKs program has definitely been very vital to my success. Without their support, I would not be where I am today. Not only do they assist financially but emotionally too. They believe in me, giving me confidence to reach my dreams, and become who I know I can be.

The main lesson in my life is redemption, a pure desire to not be a quitter or cling to excuses for mistakes I’ve made.

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