Meet Karla

Meet Karla_color

“When I was 11, my family moved to Auburn, Washington from Los Angeles because I was growing up in a neighborhood where we heard gun shots right across the street. After we moved, my parents worked hard, but were never around to help me keep good homework habits.

In high school, skipping school, getting pregnant, and the loss of my family member set me up for a low GPA. I was judged by teachers and students when I was pregnant, making every day even more difficult. I still managed to graduate, and having my daughter, more than anything, encouraged me to continue my education. Going to college was one of the scariest yet most exciting feelings I’ve had apart from becoming a mother.

Balancing being a new mother and student was not easy. Not having childcare was a struggle during my first year of college. But, asking and getting help was what got me through school.

During my first year at Green River College, my daughter, Mia, was in an early education program. Her teacher could see I was struggling, so she connected me to Angela, my Education Advocate at Seattle Education Access.

Angela has opened doors for me. Most importantly, I was able to obtain an SEA scholarship to pay for daycare. Knowing my daughter was safe helped me focus, motivated me to stay in school, and pushed me harder. Being responsible was not my specialty in high school, but I have learned a lot about responsibility through these life-changing experiences. Ever since, I have been able to maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher.

After my AA, I plan to transfer to University of Washington Tacoma, which will make me the first in my family to attend a four-year university. I want to major in Law & Policy and minor in Criminal Justice. I have been passionate about these subjects since I was 7 years old. Seeing fear in my mother’s eyes encouraged me to be able to help her in the future; I want to never see that look on her face again. I ultimately want to become a lawyer to help low-income families gain knowledge of rights, freedom, and justice.”

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