BTSV Class of 2015 - San Jose State University

The day I read my financial aid award letter from San Jose State, I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. It was proof that my family's financial struggles would not keep me from attending college.

Since I was 8-years-old, my family had been slowly falling apart, and I was in high school when it finally collapsed. My parents' separation left my mother and me with nearly nothing. Paying for rent and food became a huge struggle, and we even faced eviction notices. My mom and I have seen poverty in its truest form.

Despite all of this, I never doubted myself. I leaned on Breakthrough most when my world felt chaotic. It was a place where I could get important information about college and surround myself with friends who were driven just like me.

I'm now in my second year in college. I have a part-time job that helps pay the bills, and I love my classes. Thanks to my summer as a Breakthrough teaching fellow, I have a clear career goal. Five years from now, you will find me teaching high school math and setting high expectations for my students. It will be my way of giving back to the Breakthrough family.