Student #1

Growing up in East LA school was never something I took seriously, which is partially why I dropped out of high school. Since then, I have worked jobs that paid enough to cover bills, but never enough to secure a safe future for my family and I. Although we struggled financially for a long time, it wasn't until I was laid off March 2020 that I felt I hit rock bottom. I was afraid of not knowing how to provide for my family and felt we could lose our home at any moment.

I never thought getting laid off was going to be a blessing in disguise. However, that’s when I realize I needed to make changes. I studied hard to obtain my GED, which is something I always thought of doing but didn’t make the time to do so. Once I met that goal, I knew I wanted to continue searching for something that would provide me with a better future which is when I discovered the CNC Machine Operator Program at Compton College. I was blessed to get into the program giving me a second chance not only to pursue a career that will secure my future but also the opportunity to provide for my family. This has also allowed me to set an example for my son, as it is never too late to chase after your dreams and teach him the importance of education. I want my son to know that he can do anything he sets his mind to, just like his father did.

Fast forward to 2022 and now I have a new goal, as I am on the verge of obtaining my associate degree in science. Though I have enjoyed pursing an education it has not been financially easy. I’ve been fortunate enough to receive support from different departments at Compton College, but CalWORKs and GAIN have been an instrumental part of my educational journey as they have helped me with school expenses related to textbooks, supplies, and transportation. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my story.

Student #2

As a single parent and college student, I constantly felt anxious, overwhelmed, judged, and inadequate. Nevertheless, I am constantly aware of the importance of good mental health. Since emotional health is just as important as physical health to stay healthy. Being a student mom involves numerous everyday struggles, but time management is the key one. We may be able to accomplish a lot, but we only have so much time. As a result, to be successful as both a parent and a student, we must find help to raise our children while also being available to achieve our goals. It is true what they say, "It Takes a Village," and my village is made up of my parents and my son's grandparents. Childcare is a main component especially now since my son is also attending school our scheduling is not always aligned. Due to different class times and my child’s schedule, not taking into factor my scheduling for work can be extremely difficult or severely limited. Therefore, that is when my village comes into play and my mom can pick up my son when it is early dismissal instead of having to miss class that day. I also participate in the GAIN work-study program, which has been a blessing in my life because the money earned is not counted against my cash aid and they also work around my school schedule and parenting responsibilities. Despite my best efforts to schedule my time so that it meets my needs as a parent and a student, timing is never perfect. Holidays are an ideal time because there is no school on those days, I work on holidays, and my parents cannot watch my son because they both work full-time. This is when his grandparents will look after him and feed him in a safe and nutritious environment. With unconditional support, I can achieve both my financial and academic goals. I would not be where I am now in my educational journey without the support of my family and GAIN. 

Student #3 

To have a village to help watch your child(ren) and assist your educational journey is such a blessing. I am Fortunate enough to have a small but mighty village that is assisting me and my child along the way through my educational journey. My journey consists of my mom, younger sister, brother, and my grandma. Along side my village I have the assistance and encouragement of the CalWORKs and GAIN Program. All these people help me succeed and encourage me to be a better version of myself every day.

My mom is a nighttime nurse, which allows her to be present and available to help watch my son while I go to school. All my educational life she has worked nights to be available for me and my siblings. Now she’s continuing to do so for her grandchildren, I appreciate that she’s able to do so. My sister is a college student just like me and she works around her schedule to help watch or assist at home with my son. She also helps me better understand college which I am grateful for. My brother works full-time but is always offering to help watch and play with his nephew he has also supported me by helping me with a car situation and taking care of the car maintenance. I appreciate his efforts and assistance toward my educational journey and my child’s life. Now my grandmother is my life saver. When my mom is working 12hr shifts and can’t watch my son, my grandmother has always been available.

Throughout my educational journey I have had the assistance and support of not only my village but a program that has been in support of my educational journey has been the CalWORKs program and GAIN program. Their assistance in funding for schoolbooks and supplies has helped me tremendously, I appreciate their constant contact when it comes to questions or concerns for school. Getting in touch with my GAIN worker has always been a simple and pleasant experience and I’m grateful to be a part of a program that is always ready to help. Being a parent that is attending school is a hard challenge, but the support and assistance from GAIN has been great. The amount of success I’ve felt while starting school and accomplishing milestones along the way is something I’m grateful for.

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