Determined to not become another statistic, Andrea was deeply committed to finishing school and going on to college. With the help of CIS, she is moving closer to securing a brighter future for herself and her family.
When 19-year-old Andrea looks into the face of her 1 ½ year old daughter, Jasmine, she sees the future.
“My parents wanted me to have a better life and I want the same for her,” said Andrea.
That’s why she wants Jasmine to graduate from high school, go on to college and follow in her mother’s footsteps.
This Spring Andrea will take the first step when she walks across the stage of Innovations High School in Reno, Nevada.
Her journey began back in 1999 when her family crossed the border from Mexico, looking for better schools and a better future for Andrea and her siblings.
Andrea was determined to fulfill the dreams of her parents so she worked hard in school.
But after her junior year in high school, her path to a diploma took a detour. Andrea learned she was expecting Jasmine.
“I didn’t want to drop out of school and become a statistic. I knew that a diploma was not only important for my future, but for my child,” said Andrea
So Andrea decided to get back on track. Now married to 18-year old Apolinar - her daughter’s dad and a fellow Innovations High classmate - she reached out to Makinna Belvoir, the Communities In Schools site coordinator. Makinna helped the new couple find help so they could finish their education.
She also worked to secure a CIS Scholarship that paid for Andrea’s application for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) which will allow Andrea to stay in the U.S. while she continues her education.
“Andrea has so much potential and has flourished into a happy, vibrant, young woman since I first met her and started working with her,” said Makinna “She knows this high school diploma and a college degree will open doors for her and her family.”
Now, Andrea is looking ahead to graduation, making plans for college and later this Fall preparing to welcome another future graduate to the family - a brother or sister for Jasmine.
“I never dreamed that college was an option for me,” said Andrea. “But today I’m going to follow that dream - not only for myself – but for my parents, my husband and children and for people like Makinna who believed in me.”
- May 2015