Office Location: CC-240/VALOR Center
Department: Counseling Services
Serving Mission College students in DSPS and VALOR
Where I was a student
San Jose State University
Education Counseling, M.A., with Student Personnel
Psychology, B.A., minor in Sociology
I am motivated by
I am motivated by helping students to succeed in their academic and career journey. I work with many students who have been told that they can not obtain a college degree. My motivation is to help students to identify their strengths and passion and to formulate a career plan. Sometimes that involves a transfer degree, an associate’s degree, a certificate, or a trade program. Whatever the path that is chosen for an individual I want it to be a choice that the student makes with support and access to the different options that are available. Each journey starts with a step and sometimes I can be that bridge to start the journey.
Although I have a graduate degree, I encountered challenges that could have prevented me from succeeding. According to Dr. Victor Rios, At-Promise students already possess the tools necessary to succeed in school, but just need support and assistance to utilize those tools.
First Generation College Student
Placed in remedial courses in high school and college
Raised by a single mother
Family member with mental health issues and addiction issues
Below Poverty Household
Privilege is an unearned advantage that is highly valued but restricted to certain groups. Everyone has some form of privilege. Acknowledging your privilege does not mean you believe you are better than others. It is a way of demonstrating gratitude for an advantage you have and acknowledging that those without the advantage experience the world differently than you do.
Being a white cisgender female with an advanced degree is a privilege. I know that each day I am not judged by the color of my skin and that I can express my love to my partner without fear. Someone looking at me would not know that as a child I grew up in poverty. My mother was a single parent that struggled to provide for her three children. Growing with a single parent in poverty for me meant that as a child I had to help provide emotional and financial support to my mother. While kids were being kids, I had to take on grown up concerns such as: was my mother going to make enough money to keep the lights on, to have enough food, or to pay the rent? While my peers were planning their weekends, I worked two jobs starting at the age of 14 to contribute to the household. Growing up, I was teased and bullied for being poor and coming from a household that was on government assistant programs to have basic needs met such as receiving welfare assistance, reduced lunch at public schools, weekly trips to the food pantry, and for having to wear used clothing. To this day I do not take basic needs for granted.
My goal in life was to break the cycle of poverty for my family. While I have not been able to break the cycle for my mother, I have been able to break the cycle of poverty for the future of my daughters. This will be my greatest accomplishment in life and it started with the struggle that I experienced during my early years. In the midst of poverty my mother always told me that I would go to college. We had no idea how I was going to pay for college or navigate through higher education as I was a first-generation college student who navigated this system alone.
My passion for working with underserved populations stems from my life experience. I truly believe that education is a key that can help to break poverty. My goal is to help each and every student that I work with to reach their fullest potential.
I love to spend time with my family and to explore the outdoors. When I am not working you can find me exploring the outdoors, experimenting with a new food and desert recipe, and spending time with friends and family.