My name is Missael Morales; I am 29 years old born in Long Beach Memorial Hospital. I moved so many times that I have seen over 30 elementary schools and 15 different high schools before I graduated.

I have been on my own since the age of 15 years old. I did turn to the streets where I found out how to make fast money. I became a warrant of the state and went to youth authority, where I ended up going to group homes and later I emancipated from a Vazquez Group Home at the age of 18.

I had to learn how to become independent, took four years for me to realize the difficulty of taking care of oneself without much means. I have been homeless so many times. However, this did not set me back. I got back on my feet, got a job where I met my wife. I know have been in school completing my last semesters at San Bernardino Valley to transfer to a four-year institution where I plan to earn my degree in Criminal Justice.

I have benefited from the EOPS program in many ways. The counselors are very instrumental in providing guidance and encouragement throughout my difficulties in education and personal endeavors. This scholarship will help me with paying my tuition or textbook as when I transfer to the four-year institution. Without the assistance of programs like EOPS it would have been much harder to accomplish my goals.

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