It feels unreal to graduate. I didn’t think I would overcome such a big step and huge accomplishment.
Before, I was taking care of my disabled Father in El Salvador. He has been a priority my whole life.
I came to the states to visit my Mom and it was at that time when the pandemic hit. There was no way to go back. I had been a primary caretaker and now I had to find a way to start over and figure things out.
Now that I’m graduating, I would like to go to college, hopefully start in the fall. I’d like to get into psychology, to definitely work with kids.
I’m excited and nervous to graduate.
I’m excited to make it through the pandemic since it was stressful working while juggling zoom classes.
I’m also nervous because graduation is finally here.
Now that I have a diploma, I want to go to a two-year college, then transfer to a four-year. Ideally I’d go to Laney College then transfer to UCLA. My goal is to become a counselor. I don’t want to take a break and get off track.
I want to be a counselor because growing up, I endured a lot of challenges. I went through a lot but I was still able get through it but if I had the support or guidance, it would probably have been easier. I can help young adults and teens to get through a rough spot in their life because I know how it feels and they’ll have someone to talk through to help get through things.
My overall experience with Civicorps is that they helped me to be responsible. I was going through a lot but from the Job Training Center or having Natasha and Aaron to talk things through with, Civicorps helped me to grow.
I feel good about graduating. At Civicorps, I learned that I can do anything that I want to.
I was on a mission to graduate and get my diploma. I needed it. I wanted it. I just wanted to take advantage of the school.
All the staff helped me out in a lot of ways, always keeping up with me to make sure I was on time with everything. Classes were on Zoom [during the pandemic] and it was easy to get it all done with.
Next steps, I want to go to college in Sacramento. It’s not too far and I have family there.
I’m excited and happy to graduate.
It was challenging for sure working [as a paralegal] at the same time and going to school. But I kept focus, prioritizing my time and schedule while talking about my needs with employers to get my classes done.
Getting my high school diploma encouraged me that it’s never too late. It doesn’t matter how old we are or how many obstacles there are because we can overcome it all. Looking further into my education, I want to go into immigration law.
My family and I are immigrants and had to go through the process. Immigration lawyers do a lot and sometimes they don’t get rewarded. It’s like a doctor saving a person’s life because when people flee from their country, it’s because of some danger or something is threatening them. So, legally living in a country that has more protection gives them a second chance at life.
Being an immigration lawyer would let me help others get their voice. I speak three languages: Spanish, English, and Mam. I’m used to interpreting and helping my community to be their voice.
I get this inspiration from my Mom, who only speaks Mam. I look up to her. She suffered discrimination but now I can say she’s a strong woman that taught me and my sisters to not be afraid.
Symone “Mo” Ward
I feel super nervous and anxious to graduate, it’s a surreal moment.
It’s been a super long journey, beginning two years ago. I didn’t think I was going to take 2 years, but I had to do this for my son.
Speaking to everyone and all my counselors, moving forward I want to do an apprenticeship or internship. I want to further my career while continuing my education or learning.
Civicorps helped me figure out that I want to eventually be in the automotive industry.
Mo’s favorite type of cars: Anything fast
Mo’s dream car: Tesla