Growing up my childhood was affected by drug abuse and violence. My mother witnessed my father’s death, and as a result suffered from PTSD. Her mental state affected my brother and me tremendously. Through the constant moving and instability I managed to get my high school diploma. When I was nineteen, I became pregnant with my eldest daughter. After having my second child at age 26, and as a single parent I had to make a decision on the direction my life. I made the scary decision of going back to school with two children. I came into the EOPS office overwhelmed and afraid. The staff was understanding of my new journey and wanted to do everything they could to help. Going to school full time, working part time, and trying to make ends meet was a huge struggle. Financial trouble has a large effect on academic success which is why EOPS has been a driving force for me to be successful. Assistance with books and supplies helped me financially. In addition to financial help, I couldn’t imagine what I would’ve done without my EOPS/CARE counselor. Having a personal counselor to give me a piece of mind and keep me on track was essential to my success. I am now headed to my new journey at HOLY NAMES UNIVERSITY, and this scholarship can help me with many financial needs as I matriculate from my EOPS/CARE family and on to a higher education.