At 17-years-old, I dropped out of high school, and three years later earned my GED. Knowing that a college degree was the only way I would be able to support myself, I enrolled at HCC in 2002 at the age of 24, but dropped out because of family and financial issues. During my absence from college, I got married and gave birth to an amazing miracle baby with special needs. In 2007, at 29, without the resources to afford college, I reenrolled at HCC, and thanks to the HCC Foundation, was the recipient of the Dr. Gwendolyn W. Stephenson Scholarship. The scholarship changed my life. With the help of HCC Academic Advisor Ms. Francis Cox, I found passion and my direction in life; to help at-risk youth and families. HCC faculty and staff, and the Foundation fueled my passion and encouraged me to pursue my dreams while small class sizes helped me to build relationships with my professors and classmates. Today, I’m the Registrar at Howard W. Blake High School currently pursuing my B.S.W. and M.S.W., in the Social Work Program at Saint Leo University.