Leisli Arriaga Velazquez
I was born in Toluca, Mexico and came to America in 1991. My parents carried me over the border through the Tecate desert. Married at 15, life proved to be very difficult and took a turn when he started to abuse me physically, emotionally, and financially. Eventually, he was arrested and sentenced to prison. I stayed at a domestic violence women’s shelter for 6 months where I got help with my immigration status, obtained my GED and later gained permanent residency. I am a mother of 2 children, a 12-year old boy and a 2-year old girl. It is not easy juggling being a single parent, and student at Mt. San Jacinto College, currently taking 9 units and working 15 hours a week. My academic goal is to finish my associate degree in science. Taking advantage of resources and programs at MSJC helps me be a good mom, employee, and student. I partake of services at the Learning Resources Center and CalWORKs to help me with my assignments. I want to thank Lisa Campbell and the CalWORKs team for guiding me and supporting my education with many resources like work study, securing textbooks, printing, a loaner laptop, gas and meal cards. CalWORKs at MSJC isn’t just a program to me; it has become my family at school.
I want to first acknowledge God because without him nothing is possible. He always works out things for my good. I remember being in the CalWORKs office to work on some assignments when the scholarship was brought to my attention by Lisa Campbell, Director of CalWORKs. I was a bit timid, as I’ve never applied for a scholarship and won and figured “it was a waste of time” Needless to say, I hopped on board with reviewing the directions on how to apply and reflected on who has inspired me through my academic experience. I thought of many important individuals who made a huge impact on my life and learning experience. CalWORKs has been a program I could count on from the day I became a student; from receiving gas cards, meal cards, and workshops to improve my academic experience. I appreciate my VILLAGE. Every student needs people in their lives to remind them they are important and can accomplish anything. It will only make your experience in college more memorable. Thank you to MSJC faculty and staff who have taken the time to teach me that I can do anything I put my mind to. I will always cherish this moment and appreciate it.