There was a time back in middle school where I saw myself going to college – like my older sister did. I thought that if she could do it, so could I. Then something happened along the way. Difficulties at home took my focus away from school and I began to lose faith in myself.
Then I found out about Civicorps. Coming here has opened my eyes and made me realize I’m stronger than I thought. The connection I had with certain teachers – Ms. Yvette and my supervisor Maricela – helped me get through the discomforts at home and made me feel like I fit in here.
Since I started this program, I’ve dreamt of the day I could actually tell my mom “I made it.” She has done so much for me and my siblings and had so many struggles – I just want to give back to her in the way she’s given to us.
After graduation, I see myself working in a cement union apprenticeship and earning money to help my family, and in five years I see myself in college. Coming to Civicorps made me clear about what I want to do and the goals I have for myself.
One of my favorite quotes is: “Don’t let fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway, we might as well just put the passing time to the best use possible,” by Errol Nightingale.
Before I came to Civicorps I was just a kid wasting time. In high school I didn’t get the one-on-one help that I needed so I dropped out. I was supposed to graduate in 2014 but when I couldn’t walk with my class it hurt my feelings.
In the midst of me trying to get my life together I’ve faced a lot of obstacles. I didn’t want to break my back taking care of myself, so I knew the only way I could do that was through education.
I had a great experience at Civicorps – the job training center and academy changed my life. Civicorps has given me skills to succeed in life that I couldn’t get in a regular high school. Not being able to keep up with other high school kids and then coming to Civicorps and being successful made me feel that accomplishing something wasn’t so out of reach for once.
Five years from now I plan to be a black business owner who can be a role model and give opportunities to young individuals who are in the same position I was in when I started Civicorps in 2015. Through my experience, I want them to see that no matter where we come from we can make it out.
Becoming a 2017 graduate is my most memorable experience at Civicorps because I beat the odds. I made my mama cry for a good reason.
To the staff I want to say thank you for knowing that I’m a brilliant young adult.
Before Civicorps, I was homeless, worrying about where I would stay each night, and working to support my family. Then the first time I came to Civicorps, I was terminated – I wasn’t ready for the program yet. I used to dream about coming back to Civicorps – working on a crew and going to school. Then one day I got a call from one of the counselors that I was accepted back into the program. I was so excited to be back and this time I knew I would handle my business.
Civicorps has inspired me in many ways. I’ve become a better person while at Civicorps and I’ve learned from my mistakes. I make sure that I never miss a day of school or work. Three key strengths I learned from Civicorps are being punctual, taking responsibility, and perseverance.
I know that it doesn’t stop here for me. Just because I graduate doesn’t mean I’m done. I’m going to keep the same determination I have now so that I will be successful after Civicorps.
Working on a crew and going on kayaking and camping trips showed me that I love nature and wildlife and I plan to get into a career that involves working outdoors. I want to go to college and become a park ranger – and eventually buy a house for my family.
Civicorps has changed my life completely and has been one of the major positive steps I’ve taken in my life.
Before I came to Civicorps, I was working full-time as a housekeeper in my own cleaning company. The work was tiring and stressful and I wasn’t happy doing it.
Deep down I knew that I could do so much better, but felt nervous about going back to school to get my diploma because I had been out for seven years.
Because of this amazing program, my mind is now set on going to college and becoming one of the best photographers in town with my own photography business.
Civicorps taught me how to stay positive as a crew leader even when things were hard, and I learned not to give up on what I really want because anything is possible!
Join us on Thursday, June 8th at 6pm at the Oakland Museum of California to celebrate the achievements of all of our talented grads!
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