JULISSA MENDOZA

Region IX

As I reflect upon the day of my high school graduation, memories of fear, and uncertainty come to mind. I was scared of the road I was about to begin. I was aware of the challenges I was about to endure as a first-generation, low-income, Hispanic, female, to attend college. One thing I was certain about was that 1 would not let fear stop me from continuing my academic endeavors, despite lives circumstances. During the RCC welcome day, I came upon many resources the campus offers its students. The services offered by EOPS caught my attention and I signed up for orientation. Attending orientation helped me understand the services offered by EOPS to students with similar backgrounds as myself. EOPS provided all students with a welcoming, safe, and supportive environment. I recall leaving orientation feeling excited, and with a sense of security. During my first EOPS meeting, the counselor and I discussed my academic goals, and I was provided with the knowledge, and tools needed to succeed. Understanding the requirements needed to successfully transfer to a four-year university in two years helped me feel confident about the journey I was about to begin.

Since day one, EOPS has guided and supported me every step of the way. I am pleased to state that I will be transferring to Cal S ate Fullerton with a 3.8 grade point average. I am overly grateful for the mentorship provided by the EOPS counselors, as 1 could not have accomplished this goal without their guidance, and unconditional support. Not only did EOPS counselors ensure they supported me academically; they also provided me with emotional support. They provided me with a safe place to speak about difficult situations I was encountering at the moment and reminded me of my potential. They ensured to acknowledge all my academic achievements, and appeared to be genuinely happy for me. They helped me regain my sense of self-confidence,and motivated me in being the best version of myself.

My goal during my last semester at RCC is to earn a 4.0 GPA, and complete the last major course requirement needed to transfer. EOPS counselors are currently helping me with applying for graduation. I was recently informed that I qualify for three graduation certificates, in addition to obtaining an Associates Degree in Psychology. I would have never known that I was eligible for certificates without the help of my counselor, Mark.

Lastly, the $750 scholarship provided would be of significant help, as it would be invested in public transportation. Unfortunately, due to financial hardship, I have not been able to afford purchasing a vehicle. Therefore, I will have to commute from Riverside to Fullerton and back on public transportation. I will be taking the MetroLink and the monthly fee for the passes to board range up to $180 per month. Transferring to a four-year university will bring upon new challenges that I can foresee. Being awarded this scholarship would be of significant support to this new journey.

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