SANDRA ROCHA

Region IX

I grew up in a loving family with hardworking and supportive parents.  Unfortunately, I took a wrong turn and began using and selling drugs. I hated my life, I looked for love in all the wrong places and did many regrettable things. I ended up in jail with charges ranging from drug possession and sales to trafficking. I got out with a strike on my record and felony charges.   At 25 I ended up getting pregnant and becoming a single mother. I decided it was time to make changes in my life. I was determined to make positive decisions that would benefit my little family. To give myself a fighting chance I fought to get my charges expunged and my records sealed. Three years after my initial release from jail the charges were expunged and records sealed.

I got my GED and was able to land a stable job. In 2016 I started attending Copper Mountain College  and was introduced to the CalWORKs program. My CalWORKs counselor told me about the EOPS program. There was never any judgement from the staff and I could not believe all of the dedication, help, support and direction given to me. They knew nothing about me, but were willing to make me a priority.  If it wasn’t for the EOPS program and staff, I would have dropped out my first semester.

Life gets so hard sometimes and we feel like surrendering. I know that the past has only prepared me for what is to come. I am ready to be a role model to my daughter, a strong, determined, focused, and educated woman.  With the support of my daughter, fiancé, family, and programs such as EOPS and CARE I can say that I am very proud of who I am today.

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