Jody Perez

 

Perez

 

Hostos Community College ASAP '15

 

I am a single mother of two handsome boys, 14 and 5 years old. I was raised in the foster care system from the age of 9 until I emancipated myself from the system at the age of 18. Throughout my years as a child I experienced the Catholic and public school systems. I was an excellent student until I entered high school, when I faced many difficulties. In fact, at the age of 17, I dropped out of school and a month later found out I was pregnant. I wanted to offer my child everything I never had. I wanted the best for him and knew that in order to accomplish this I had to better myself, so I fought to get back into school.  I was lucky enough to have been accepted into a high school that catered to young mothers and mothers-to-be, which made it easier because the school had on-site daycare for their students. Fast forwarding a bit, I wasn’t able to graduate with my class due to credit issues and had to complete my diploma by taking on night classes and summer classes for about a year and half--and I finally graduated in 2000. I put going to college on hold to raise my son and to go to work so I could be able to support him.

 

I allowed many things to get in my way of going to college. As a single parent my main concerns are my children, and as a person with no family, having people to rely on is very scarce. Sure, I have a select few I trust with my children, but they have a life of their own and were unable to help and support me in the way I needed in order to be able to go to college. It had always been my boys and I, and no one else--so going to school would have been difficult. I also allowed my fear of failing get in the way. My way of thinking was that if I barely passed high school, there was no way I would be able to succeed in college. I thought that way for many years, but twelve years later, with the help of my loving fiancée, I found the strength to begin a new chapter in my life. I still doubt myself most of the time but every day my confidence is growing and in my first semester of college I earned 3 A’s and a B+, achieving a GPA of 3.766.

 

Perez FamilyI was referred to ASAP by one of Hostos’ advisors when in a meeting I brought up wanting to take winter and spring sessions to assure that I would stay on track, and  was selected to be a participant of the program. I wanted to be a part of the ASAP program because they understood my willingness and eagerness to stay on schedule. They wanted to help me stay focused and provide me with the support I needed in order to do so.

 

I appreciate ASAP and Lauren Millin-Moore, my advisor with ASAP. They keep me grounded and focused. Lauren keeps me positive when I doubt myself and calms me down when I’m feeling overwhelmed. ASAP offers many programs to help keep their students focused, and not only do they help us graduate on time, but they want us to graduate on time. I feel ASAP was very instrumental to my high GPA and my success in the classes I took: ASAP was my support system, along with my boys and my fiancée--but more so ASAP because they know and can relate to things that happen in college. I was overwhelmed when I entered Hostos and Lauren eased my worries. She assured me I’d be fine, and sure enough I was.

 

I am currently unsure of the career I would like to pursue, but I know that, with the support of ASAP, Lauren, and my family, I will succeed and will eventually find myself on the road I am meant to be on.

 


 

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