PAULA ALMANZA

Region IX

A few years ago, I decided to return back to college after being out for over 20 years. Although I have been successful in my various work fields, I felt it was time to earn a degree. I have earned certificates in drug/alcohol, human services and a license in real estate. I am a mother of three beautiful girls who are my pride and joy. As if they were not a blessing themselves, they have given me an even bigger blessing, an opportunity to become a grandmother.  My hope is to show my grandchildren resiliency through my hard work and dedication. But most importantly prove to myself that I can achieve my goals regardless of the obstacles I must go through in order to reach my goal.

 

Upon completion of my bachelor’s degree in Social work, I plan to become an advocate to fight for the rights of those who are less fortunate, connect them with the proper resources and be the voice of my people in the community. Day to day I see how people are treated, more specifically the homeless population, the veterans and those living below the poverty line. It breaks my heart seeing the conditions they live in and their struggle. Many are not given the opportunity to thrive, they are just living to survive. I am passionate about the well-being of others, I feel everyone should be treated fairly and given the opportunity to earn a degree, be able to provide for themselves and simply enjoy all life has to offer.

 

For many years now, I have been actively involved with my church on various projects. We have and gone out in the community inviting our neighbors to visit our church service, attend our events, and spread the word of God. Our church has hosted food drives, clothing drives, carnivals much more all free of charge. In the most recent years I have had the opportunity of being a part of the Human Service club and UMOJA at Moreno Valley College.

 

In 2018 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I knew the diagnosis was just the beginning of a long journey. In the past year I have been to the doctors more times than I have collectively been throughout my whole life. To this day I am still struggling to return back to my normal self. It has been a challenge to depend on others to help me with my everyday tasks, but I am grateful for my friends and family who have been a great support system. Throughout my cancer journey I have not given up on my education. I have made sure to keep in contact with my professors and seek the proper guidance, so I do not fall behind. I am proud to say I will be receiving four AAs.  

 

EOPS:  Has been a great support for me. They have helped me by providing books for my classes, early registration and guidance since I start college.

KoKo has been a great person, when I need information he would provide or guide me to who ever I need to speak to. 

 

Ms. Bonnie has been very encouraging finish and to go forward.

Sandra has been very kind in helping.

Mrs. Cisneros, EOPS counselor. Excellent support guided me through all my classes. When I was ready to give up, she didn’t let me. She kept tell me no, you can do it, you got this

She encourages me to finish and transfer. If it wasn’t for her, I would not have been transferring now.

All their support has had impact in my college life.

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