Student Highlight: Discovering My Path

Silvia* immigrated from her home country as an unaccompanied minor shortly before her senior year of high school and moved in with her aunt and uncle. When she enrolled at NOW Academy, she spoke some English but was very shy and felt unprepared for the digital aspects of school in the United States. Things were done very differently where she grew up, and the expectations around digital literacy were very different in the U.S. However, being bright with a solid work ethic and a strong desire to succeed, she excelled in her coursework, achieving a 4.0 GPA. With Fulfillment Fund’s support, she submitted her college and financial aid applications all online and was accepted to multiple four-year colleges.

However, Silvia shared with her Fulfillment Fund College Counselor that she did not feel ready to attend a four-year institution. While she had dreams of majoring in the STEM field, she knew the intensity of those classes. The prospect of keeping up in school while also learning the ropes of college life and continuing to acclimate to living in a new country without her mother or siblings was overwhelming. With our support and advice, Silvia decided to start at LACC with the intent to transfer, and she has not regretted that choice.

Since enrolling at LACC, Silvia has grown close with her Fulfillment Fund College Success Advisor, Olivia, and has leaned on her for emotional support during times of uncertainty. With Olivia’s encouragement to try new things, Silvia decided to balance her more rigorous STEM courses with a few performing arts classes. This opened a whole new world and ignited her passion for the arts, and she is now hoping to transfer as a Theater Arts major, having applied to schools like Oberlin. This semester she also raised her hand to serve as Stage Manager for an all-Latino production at LACC—something her previously shy self would never have dreamed of taking on.

Silvia is grateful to Fulfillment Fund for our scholarship funding, which often made the difference between being able to eat lunch or paying for a ride home after a late-night class long after public transit had stopped running. It allowed her to not worry as much about the many costs of college so she could focus on her studies and future. But more importantly, she credits her self-confidence, self-advocacy skills, and a newfound passion for her field of study to our comprehensive support.

*Name changed for privacy

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