The year is 2015; its officially been three (3) years after I left my ex-husband, and a little over two (2) years after I weathered the aftermath of all the domestic violence I went through. I went through eleven (11) years of domestic violence. I decided that I had to get over the fear and anxiety I had. I didn’t know where to start, and I was very scared. I wasn’t in good place. I felt hopeless, and lost. I decided I would go back to community college and that would help me focus.
I started at Los Angeles City College (LACC), earning my Certification in Fingerprint Identification Expert. The professor I had for my fingerprinting classes really brought me back to life. I worked hard, earning mostly A’s and a few B’s, receiving semester GPAs of over a 3.5 since I started. I was only taking a class or two at the time.
I discovered that West Los Angeles College had an ABA (American Bar Association) approved Paralegal program. I started attending West Los Angeles College (WLAC) part-time, and in the Fall 2017 when I received my first Dean’s Honor Roll, and it was the first time I had earned straight A’s in college. I was so proud of myself and it boosted my confidence.
Being in the Paralegal Program showed me the field I needed to be in, law. My professors really took an interest in me, I was their top student, I received the highest grades in the classes, and this is where my potential was unlocked. I was excelling, and this felt right.
In the Spring 2018 semester, I was taking a full load of classes (at WLAC and LACC), including an internship, earning all A’s and one B, making it onto the Dean’s Honor Roll as a full time student. I had to keep this momentum going. In the Fall 2018 I had a semester GPA of 3.54 (2 As and 2 Bs) making it again onto the Dean’s Honor List for the third semester in a row. That put me onto the Presidents Honor List.
My accomplishments were celebrated at the Dean’s Honors Tea. Receiving the book and seeing my name in it 3 times made it all a reality. The certificates and the pin. Wow. I can’t believe it. It was very emotional. I am very proud of what I accomplished and I can’t believe how far I’ve come.
This closer I got to graduation the more and more my professors kept asking me if I thought about law school. Mrs. Zexter was really insistent that I went to law school. If she saw me outside she always made time to talk to me. Mrs. Zexter even offered to help me get into law school by writing me a letter of recommendation, and even helped me choose a law school, and I’m completely happy with my first and second choices. The second choice was her suggestion 🙂
I am so glad that I walked. Once I got to the student reception I had some food, I hung out with friends, and made some new friends. I was so happy to see my friends when they showed up. It was such a fantastic surprise. I didn’t know they would be there. I missed my two female paralegal partners in crime so much. They made class so much fun and we all stuck together. We did it!
This graduation was the best. I felt so good to walk in smiling, taking video, and feeling so happy. I was so proud of myself and my classmates. We sat together, walked together, talked, laughed, hugged, took pictures, and cheered on our classmates. I don’t even remember walking across the stage. I was so excited to walk, and I was so proud of myself and all that I accomplished. The best part was when all the graduates stood up for the confirmation of our degree’s and certificates. Then we all stood once again to move our tassel to the left side of our cap. Those two parts where the most proudest moments.
I walked across the stage with a high GPA, its the major I choose, and most importantly, I did it my way. I walked across the state to receive two Associates Degree, I am very proud of myself, I am also proud and happy with all the hard work I did to get here. I absolutely loved my time at West Los Angeles College, I love all my professors, I loved the paralegal courses I took, and I do not regret my decision to pursue the paralegal degree at WLAC.
I couldn’t have asked for a better graduation. It all still seems like a dream. I still can’t stop thinking about it. Inside the little I guess degree holders we got it says “always remember what you wanted to be”, that is a quote I will always remember as I continue on with my journey. West Los Angeles College really did open up my cocoon, and I thrived. Two (2) years flew by fast, looking back on it I still don’t know where the time went. Looking back at the beginning, I was stubborn and didn’t want to start over. Now, looking back at it all I am glad I that I did.
This is the graduation of my dreams.
“Starting Over at the CSU of my Dreams” (which is Part II of the series) is COMING SOON!