Carla’s Story

It was hard being a single mom, juggling school and my son. Life was just hard. And I was very anti-social. I didn’t have many friends until I started going to YoungLives. Some girls from school invited me to go and it was really fun! I started talking to other girls there and everyone was so nice to me. It was a new experience for me to talk to people and make friends. Even the people I didn’t know were so friendly. They wanted to get to know me. They didn’t judge me. And the mentors had great advice. They were so encouraging and motivating.

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Class of 2012 (Carla and her son, Damian)

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Carla working at McDonald’s

I had been working at McDonalds for about 2 years. I was making ok money, but it wasn’t enough for me to live on. I saw people who had been working there for 20 years and I realized I didn’t want to be there for the next 5 or 10 years. I wanted to do something for myself and my son. So when I was invited by YoungLives to go to a College Night, I went. I decided that night that I wanted to go to school, but I honestly had no idea how I would do it. Tracy (from Goldenwest College) said she could help me get registered and that she would walk me through the whole thing. And some of my friends encouraged me to do it. So I signed up for college!

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Carla in the middle with Michelle, her school counselor on the left, and Tracy, the C.A.R.E. program coordinator on the right

And now…I love college! I wake up every day ready to learn. I’m a student at Goldenwest College and am a part of two special programs for single moms – C.A.R.E. (Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education) and E.O.P.S. (Extended Opportunity Program and Services). As a single mother, these programs offer so much help! They can help with emergency loans, priority registration, books for our classes, tutoring referrals in case we are struggling with our classes, gas cards, school supplies, merit grants and so much more.

It is an amazing support group and I feel like they really want me to do well in school. The counselors have so much to offer and they’re very dedicated to seeing us succeed. It can be overwhelming trying to juggle school, work and of course our babies, but it will be very worth it in the end. It has been an amazing experience being involved with these two incredible programs. 

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Carla and her son, Damian

It’s been such a good experience and I’m so glad that I made the decision to go to school. I’m really proud that I’ve made it this far with my son on my own. I’m so glad I didn’t postpone going back to school and that I actually did it. I tell myself, “I’m not going to give up. I’m going to do it.” And here I am. I’m working on my AA degree in Nursing. Once I finish, I’m planning to go into the Army for 2 years as a Nurse. Ultimately I want to get my Bachelor’s degree and find a good nursing job.

Carla at school

Carla at school

I’m so grateful for everyone involved with YoungLives. I’m thankful for their support and for always telling me to never give up. It’s really cool being a part of a group that gives you so much support. My family is great, but they don’t understand how bad I want this, how hard I’m pushing myself. Sometimes you have to hear it from someone else to really believe it about it yourself. And now I’m using my experience to encourage other teen moms togo to college too. There really are people who want to help us succeed. It’s never too late to go back to school. Think about your kids and let that be your motivation. I want other moms to know if I did it, they can too.

 

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