Vanessa graduated from Sacramento State after the Spring term of 2015 with a degree in History.
Vanessa started with Future Sacramento in 2007. During her eight years with the program, she flourished with improved self assurance. The opportunity for her to break out of her restrictive background to explore her potential in college was inspiring. The shy young high school freshman became a confident college graduate.
One of Vanessa's remarkable traits is her willingness to take on a challenge and persevere through obstacles. As a high school student, she pushed her academics by attempting a college-level course offered by the local community college. In her first semester in college, Vanessa challenged herself with a diverse course load. Her grades from those first college-level courses showed her strengths in some areas - and taught her where she needed improvement. Although the marks were lower than her expectations for herself, we applauded her for willingness to try new things - and encouraged her to consider the experience as a lesson in what she could excel in for the future.
During high school and through college, Vanessa's family struggled with income loss and changes in her parent's employment. Vanessa did not have a stable place to call home, her family moved several times during her education. Vanessa was required to step in and extensively help with the child care of her two younger sisters. Her duties included grocery shopping and cooking all meals for her family, ensuring her younger sisters have safe transport home from school, watching over her younger sisters and helping them with their home work. Vanessa remained dedicated to her coursework - but her first year grades demonstrated that the demands from her family compromised her ability to succeed in her studies.
Through her close participation with Future Sacramento board and mentors, Vanessa was supported to stay the course and overcome her personal and academic struggles. Vanessa was determined to improve. She worked to raise her GPA - seeking guidance from her mentors, working with her professors, and meeting with academic counselors.
Vanessa achieved her college dream of earning a baccalaureate degree.