In their own words Star Student

When Torrie Smith Made a Personal Choice to be Self-Sufficient through Long Beach City College CalWORKs Education

Long Beach City College CalWORKs Program

Iam a first in my family to pursue a college education.

I was born in Los Angeles to a mother who was unable to raise me because of drug abuse and I have never met my biological father. I was taken from the hospital and raised by my maternal aunt. I have nine brothers and sisters who were separated at birth. I was raised with two of my siblings. I was separated from my twin brother at birth and we reconnected at sixteen. All of these situations were very hard to deal with.

When I was younger I didn’t know why I had to go through so much. After graduating high school I started dating a guy to find the love I never felt I had. After that relationship went sour I had my daughter and I was working at Target making $8.00 an hour.  I decided to go back to school in 2014 so I could further my education and make a better life for me and my daughter. Now I am an honors student, maintaining a 3.0 GPA.

I made a personal choice to not allow my past hurts to stop me from pursuing my goals and dreams and becoming the person I was meant to be.

Attending church and volunteering regularly allowed me to see the world in a more positive light. After going back to school my confidence started to build back up and now I am planning to transfer to a university next year. I have had success in making progress towards my goals. Since signing up for school in 2014, I have maintained a 3.0.  I have developed healthy friendships and I feel more knowledgeable about different subject and topics. CalWORKs has assisted me in my goals by allowing me to have the books I need to study and learn varies subjects. Also the counselors are available for any changes in my educational plans.

MMy plan to become more self-sufficient is to continue my education so I can become an early childhood education director and to maintain a 3.0 GPA so when I graduate college I can have a pick of schoolsto attend.

I have volunteered since I was younger. I enjoy volunteering because I am able to give back and help others. I recently volunteered for a foundation that helps junior high school kids who want to go to college. We help them visit colleges, and get brochures to help inform them of the college experience. We also share what obstacles we had to face and how we did not allow those obstacles to stop us from going to school.

I have attained my Assistant Teaching certificate, as well as my Associate Teacher certificate from Long Beach City College. Even though I had many reasons to give up I decided to turn the negatives in my life to reasons to move ahead and not become a victim.

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