Cypress College students like Tara need your help. Your year-end contribution makes a difference! Tara was homeless and struggling with addiction. Cypress helped turn adversity to success.
Read Tara’s Story
It’s a miracle that I’m able to be here to tell you my story! Four years ago I was homeless, bald, 90 pounds and a skid row junkie.
I spent 2 years homeless and lost in addiction until I committed a crime that landed me in jail.
I remember sitting in jail and getting a letter from my mother saying she was no longer able to be a part of my life.
My world stopped! You’d think that losing my children, or eating out of trash cans, or even living in a card board box would be my bottom. However, it was in that moment I knew that I had to fight for my life. I had drug induced schizophrenia and was offered a court ordered recovery program. I entered into the program and worked incredibly hard to clear up the wreckage of my past. A critical part of my path to recovery was my choice to go to college.
I learned that Cypress College offered a Drug and Alcohol Studies program. As I started at Cypress, I took a 2-hour bus ride to class and then a 3-hour bus ride to a drug program in Santa Ana daily. At night I would go to the gym and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Against all odds I completed the court ordered recovery program and my record was completely dismissed.
In addition to my studies, I am also the Vice President of Outreach for the FITE Club (From Incarceration To Empowerment) at Cypress College. The FITE program has made a huge impact on my overall success at Cypress.
Last year I received the Drug and Alcohol Studies and Human Services Generalist Certificates. I was also proud to be awarded a Cypress College Foundation scholarship which I used to pay for my certification.
I have had incredible professors and counselors at Cypress College who have guided and supported me along the way. They believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself!
I am currently taking general education classes, maintaining a 3.8 GPA and plan to transfer to UC Berkeley in 2021. Cypress Community College has been a huge part of my transformation! Knowledge is power and as I continue to grow by furthering my education, I see myself becoming a leader in the community.
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This article was released by the Cypress College Foundation.