For our April Student Spotlight, we are showcasing Gabriela!
Gabriela is graduating from Tehachapi High School this year not only with her high school diploma, but also with two Associate degrees: an AS-T in Administration of Justice and an AA in Liberal Arts: Social & Behavioral Sciences. While attending high school and Cerro Coso College, she was in Phi Theta Kappa and was accepted into the Honors Program. She will be transferring to California State University Fullerton in the fall and will major in Criminal Justice/Criminology. Afterwards, she plans to complete a Master's in Criminal Psychology.
What inspired you to start at CC while in high school?
“During my freshman year of high school, 2019-2020, I took two dual-enrolled classes at Tehachapi High School. I thought that having a few credits for college would be great. When school shut down for Covid, I had nothing to do. My mom suggested that I should try concurrent college classes. I emailed some of my teachers at the high school asking for suggestions for classes to take. I ended up settling on taking Introduction to Paralegal Studies. I took about five Paralegal classes before I decided to move into my General Education courses. I thought it would be so cool to graduate high school with my Associates done! In May of 2021, I had a meeting with a Cerro Coso counselor about my education path and I learned that I could make my ‘cool thought' a reality.”
How did CC influence your life?
“I've been so grateful to be able to complete so much college work tuition free. I wish everyone in high school would take advantage of an opportunity like this. There's no better time than the present and why not take extra time out of your day to get some college credit? Since being with CC, I feel more mature than I would have been. I've had to up my mindset to turn in college worthy assignments. School is a lot of work and I've had to prioritize this over putting in extra time at my high school extracurriculars. Having such an impactful goal has helped me push through hard times. I've been tested and pushed by peers and adults who I thought would understand my goal. It's sad to say the least, but I'm stronger for it and I wouldn't have ever unveiled that piece of myself if it wasn't for being with CC.”
How did CC help you get to where you want to be?
“I've been given so much help from counselors and professors. The counselors have been nothing but extremely helpful through all aspects of my Cerro Coso experience.”
Would you like to give a shoutout to anyone? Maybe someone who helped you during your CC journey:
“I'd like to give a big shout out to my parents who are my biggest supporters. There have been countless times when I've sat with my mom going over materials that I don't understand or proofreading my essays before I submit them. I've reviewed my study guides for math with my dad at the kitchen table and even woke him up at 5:30 AM, the day of my test, panicked about the material. He went over the problems I didn't understand before I had to leave for high school. They've pushed me when I've lost motivation and have always been in my corner. They've gone out of their way to make sure I have all the opportunities in the world. I'm so grateful that God blessed me with such amazing parents. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be where I am today, so I owe it all to them.”
Do you have any words of wisdom for current or future CC students?
“My biggest piece of advice is to not give up on your goal! There are lots of hard days and days with zero motivation, but you can do it! Not giving up makes you strong and the ending is so rewarding. It's also really important to ask for help when you need it, whether that's from your professor or another person. It's better to ask a question than to be left confused.”
Thank you for sharing your story with us Gabriela! We're so proud of you. Good luck with everything!