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Bertha Barraza

Bertha Barraza Statue FrontBertha Barraza Statue BackBertha Barraza

I enrolled at East Los Angeles College in summer of 1996, immediately after being denied a job due to my inability to speak English, and lacking a high school diploma or a GED. As a single parent, first-generation, basis skills college student I faced many barriers. My main challenges in college were lack of baby sitting and funds for books, transportation and food.

My first year in college I walked five miles (one way) with my daughter to go to class. The same year, I was able to enroll my daughter on the campus daycare center. Although it took me three years to learn about student services (i.e. financial aid, counseling, EOPS, Puente, and scholarships) I did take advantage of these resources in my last four years of the seven years I spent at the community college. I am a graduate from the Puente program and the EOPS program.

I obtained my associate’s degree in 1993 from Riverside Community College. I transfer to the University of California Riverside where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 1996. In 1999 I earned my Master’s in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Currently, I have completed all course work for the Doctoral of Management in Leadership at the University of Phoenix online. Finally, I am an EOPS Counselor at a local community college, have an excellent salary and benefits and own a beautiful 1910 home in Riverside, Ca. All thanks to the CCC system.