“If I can conquer foster care and homelessness, I know others can too.”

Kristine taking graduation photos after completing her Master’s in Social Work!

During my higher education journey, I have experienced many financial hardships, including not having a strong support system in my life. I lost my father to a brain attack stroke. After my father passed away, things went downhill for my family and I and we became homeless for 2 years. At the age of twelve I was removed from my biological mother and placed into the foster care system. I grew up not knowing who majority of my biological family was, so my support system has been weak, especially financial support systems. Much of what I have accomplished has been due to the support of Seattle Education Access and other academic programs such as the Accelerator YMCA. I do not know where I would be if it wasn’t for my education advocate, Jeff.

My Education Advocate helped to eliminate many financial barriers that I faced while achieving higher learning. My EA helped me with many different things such as paying for college applications, or registration holds that prevented me from registering for classes. My EA helped pay for my graduation cap/gown/tassel, and he also connected me to scholarships that Seattle Education Access provided. My Education Advocate also helped me gain many leadership skills which benefited me. For example, he hired me to work on the Student Advisory Board, which I participated in for 2 years. Also, he offered many opportunities to earn stipends by assisting in interview sessions with new Education Advocate/Board Member applicants. My Education Advocate has always motivated me to achieve and reach my highest potential. I would not have accelerated this far in my educational goals if I did not have my Education Advocate.

Having a master’s degree in Social Work is a big accomplishment for me. I am a first-generation college student. Many of my family members did not attend college. Having a master’s degree helps me feel more stable in my life, and it also reminds me that I can do anything I put my mind too. Having a master’s degree and accomplishing my educational goals has provided many opportunities for me and has strengthened my support system tremendously! If I can conquer foster care, homelessness, discrimination, and poverty; I know other individuals are capable as well.


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