Robin Rivera is a first generation immigrant, college student and single mother. She has faced numerous challenges in her life, including experiencing trauma and abuse, and struggling with addiction. There was a time when Robin’s self-esteem was very low, and she felt incapable of accomplishing anything. Her learning disabilities added an extra level of difficulty to focusing on her education. Read more
Becoming a mother motivated Robin to turn her life around. She wanted desperately to set a shining example for her young daughter, who now gives her the motivation to succeed. Robin reached out to all of the resources available on her college campus and from social services, looking for guidance. She found people to coach her and believe in her, which helped her to finally start believing in herself. Today, her outlook on life has changed dramatically from what it once was, and Robin now knows that she can accomplish absolutely anything by just continuing to put one foot in front of the other.
As a result, Robin has become an active member of the community, both on and off campus. She served as the secretary for AGS Honors Society, which is a California Community College Honor Society aimed toward awarding students for excellence, knowledge, and wisdom within their schools. Robin has also stood as the treasurer for Psi Beta where she first felt like she began to have a voice. One of her biggest passions includes advocating for low-income, student parents. Robin has worked to represent them at the Board of Governors meeting regarding community colleges, the Student Success Task Force recommendations meeting, and a budget cut hearing at the state capitol. Because she feels blessed to have received the support she needed to be successful, Robin feels a deep obligation to help others achieve similar success by showing them what worked for her, so that they can make smoother transitions to successful lives.
Recently, Robin graduated with highest honors from Las Positas Community College, and was admitted to UC Berkeley. There, she plans to study Psychology and Social Welfare. She was accepted out of 200 students to be a George Miller Scholar, conducting original academic research in hopes of making a difference in today’s human trafficking atrocity. Her future plans include getting her degree at Berkeley and moving on to grad school. Of course, she never forgets about what got her to where she is in the first place, because another of her primary goals is to continue setting the strong example of a capable and confident woman for her daughter. Judging by all the work Robin has done and all the things she plans to accomplish in the future, Robin and her daughter surely have a very solid future in store for them.
Tami Lucero knew everything would change when she became a single parent. Being a single parent would change many of the priorities in her life. Tami would be the sole support and provider for her two kids, meaning she would have to work extremely hard to earn enough money to support them. And, her own education would have to come second to other commitments. Overall, she selflessly put her needs second so her kids could thrive. Read more
When life seems to hit rock bottom, it’s the strongest and most courageous people who get back on their feet and foster change to make things better. Maraea Master is undoubtedly one of those few, special people. In fact, she has gone above and beyond because she doesn’t simply try to make things better for just herself. Throughout her life she has worked extremely hard to provide for everyone around her. Read more
Jeneane Wagner, recipient of the Capture the Dream Scholarship, is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. After spending two years in college, Jeneane made an unexpected yet adventurous decision to spend one year traveling and working abroad. Upon her return to the United States, she became pregnant and a single mother of a now 20 month old son. Read more
While many high school students identify their heroes as celebrities or football players, Vi admires her mother, whose perseverance as a first-generation immigrant and single parent continues to inspire her. Read more
Self-doubt and poor self esteem are often emotionally damaging, but they can be even more harmful when exhibited in a child, as was the case with Isis Castaneda. Read more
As a child, Adrienne Tran had been saving money to buy a food processor that her mother had always wanted. When she finally had enough money saved up, Adrienne went to her hiding place to get the money, only to find that it wasn’t there. As her tears started to fall, her father saw her, put his arms around her and whispered “I’ll pay it back, I promise.” Read more
10 years ago Trinity Bodine, a young mother of 4 adorable little boys, hit rock bottom. Trinity was a drug addict who stole to support her habit. Her habit eventually consumed her entire life, destroying everything in it. The father of Trinity’s children, fed up with her addiction, left her, taking their young children with him. Read more
Nikki Cruz never saw herself as a leader. As a Filipino woman with a disability and raised in a low income family, Nikki assumed that leadership roles were for other people. She assumed that leadership roles were only for people who came from privileged families. She felt oppressed by her background, and each day was a struggle for her.Read more
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Monica Novoa is a student at CSU Channel Islands, working hard to earn degrees in Nursing and Psychology. Upon meeting her, you might think that Monica is just a typical college student, but she isn’t. 28 year old Monica has had to overcome a daunting amount of adversity to become the successful college student she is today. Read more
Barstow High student Jordan Lee exemplifies the qualities of a George Geng On Lee – Minorities in Leadership Scholarship winner. As a Pueblo Laguna Tribe Member, Miss Barstow 2007, and Class President, Jordan has demonstrated that she is a role model and a passionate advocate for her community. Read more