January 31 at 4:27pm

El Camino senior on-track to become first college student in her family

Susy, a charismatic and articulate El Camino High School senior, hasn’t had the easiest road to high school graduation.  The first in her family with aspirations to attend college, she often was her only advocate for success – until she joined Interfaith’s Transitional Youth Academy (TYA).

“Last year I knew I wanted to go to college but I underestimated my abilities,” said Susy. “I didn’t think I was even good enough to go to a four-year school.”

Prior to becoming a student at El Camino, Susy attended a charter school where she admits she lacked motivation and her grades suffered.  To make up classes, Susy enrolled at El Camino and began taking credit recovery courses, on top of her normal curriculum, in order to be on-track to graduate this spring.

“Coming here and realizing that I am good enough to go to college has been the most amazing thing,” said Suzy.  “This program has taught me self-discipline and to always have strong will power.”

Susy says the most impactful part of TYA has been the academic advising and mentoring she has received while in the program.  Thanks to the support and confidence she has gained, Susy submitted college applications last fall to Cal State San Marcos, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, and Cal State East Bay.  Regardless of which school she chooses, Susy hopes to study human development, psychology or child development – career paths that were sparked by the support she received while in the TYA program.

In her free time, Susy is active in her youth group and volunteers at the Oceanside Library as part of their “Homework Helpers” program. During her volunteer shifts, she helps children from kindergarten to eighth grade with their homework and school assignments.

Looking ahead to graduation in just a few short months, Susy says she is nervous, but ready for the challenge. “My sisters didn’t go to college,” said Susy. “But I hope that I have been able to inspire them and show them that it really is easy to pursue your dreams.”

You can help students like Susy celebrate their high school graduation by clicking here and selecting “TYA Adopt-a-Scholar” from the drop-down menu. For more information, please call Robert Adams, Chief Development Officer, at (760) 489-6380 ext. 206.