CELIA CRISTINA LARA
My name is Celia Cristina Lara. When I started at Harbor College, my mother was diagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis and I had to watch her go through many detrimental changes. Since I come from a low-income household EOPS helped me financially. During my very first semester, I struggled with my classes, but EOPS was there to help lighten my burdens. They even offered me my first job. Throughout my time at school, my mother was hospitalized multiple times and it became significantly difficult to go to school while I had many other personal responsibilities. Working at EOPS changed my outlook on many things in a positive way. EOPS has helped me get out of my shell. I have learned that I can voice my opinion and that I have value and qualities I can offer. In my last semester at Harbor College, I had several deaths in my family that made me feel as if I could not keep going. I experienced multiple anxiety attacks. EOPS gave me that momentum I needed to finish my last semester and graduate. Thanks to EOPS, I have now graduated with three associate degrees and will be starting Cal State Dominguez Hills in the Fall. It took longer that I expected to reach this educational milestone, and I owe it all the EOPS. There were many times I thought about giving up and there were times I felt like I did not have what it takes to be in school. But EOPS reminded me that people from all walks of life deserve a chance at a better life and it could happen starting with school.