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My name is Maria Mandujano and I am the first in my family to graduate high school and attend college. I am currently working full-time while attending college as a full-time student. My career major is Criminal Justice. My mother Claudia Padilla made the decision to leave her home, family and life behind to migrate to the United States in order to provide a better lifestyle for her family.

Being a first generation, AB540 college student has been one of my biggest struggles while furthering my education. As an undocumented student I do not have the right to state or federal aid for school. Being selected as the California Community College EOPS Association's 2018 Scholarship winner from Evergreen Valley College is an honor. It gives me the opportunity to pursue my dreams, and helps me financially to achieve my goal to transfer to a 4-year university.

My life has been a struggle at times, but my hard work, determination, and enthusiasm for my education and my community has been the biggest drive. Although I have faced many obstacles in my life, I am fully motivated to reach my career goal, and to be able to give back to my family and community.