“The best thing that has happened to me in 2018 was transitioning from being homeless for nearly two years and starting school at UEI with my best friend who moved here from Utah. Both of us starting school and finding a place together without the help of our immediate families made me appreciate the support system I received from the faculty at the San Marcos location and seeing how far we have both come overall. My New Year's Resolution is to graduate and use my experience and resources to give back to those who have helped me get to this point. I want to help those who were not as fortunate as I was given my circumstances upon starting at UEI. I hope to also learn to forgive and accept my foster parents for kicking me out at such a young age and hope to reunite or build our relationship so I can see my siblings who currently stay with them. If it was not for them and the adversities I have faced, I would not be where I am today. Being human, I know it is easier to point out the negatives than to focus on the positives and I do not regret anything I have done that has gotten me to who I am presently. I feel like my failures have been a learning opportunity for me to grow. Instead of eliminating the possibility of failure from our life, it is better to develop a proper attitude toward failure because everyone starts somewhere.”
- Princess R.
INSPIRED BY AN EXPERIENCE
“In late 2017 my best friend’s mother went into cardiac arrest and I tried to help her stay alert until paramedics came. After coming to the MA program, I realized she had signs of a stroke a few days prior. I think that experience inspired me to get into a career where I would have opportunities to advance myself as far as I would like to go and help others. I always try to stay positive and help others when I can. I’m the type of person when I help I’m not looking for something in return, I’ve been that way since I was young. People who know me would say I have a huge heart and am always there for others.”
- Jennifer L.
PURPOSE IN LIFE
“My biggest fear before starting school was being able to make it every day. I started the program at 37 weeks pregnant and already have a 3 year old. I was so worried I wouldn't be accepted into the program or that I would have to drop out of the program early. What helps me get through a tough week at school is completing my homework in advance. I am currently at a 99% for my overall GPA here at UEI and it is because I feel like I have a purpose and that I am accomplishing something every time I am in the classroom. I have instructors who help motivate me to continue to improve and remind me how important it is to be in class, as well as, completing assignments. My home life gets pretty tough because of my little one and one on the way. As I get closer to delivering my baby, I really don’t feel like driving 30 minutes to school to sit and learn for 4.5 hours every day Monday through Friday. But, I understand that the reward at the end of all this work is worth it. I remind myself to persevere through the tough times because most of the time I go through a hardship, what is waiting for me after I get through the obstacles is ten times more valuable and rewarding. Overcoming adversity has never been seen as a fear of mine, but more as a challenge. I am willing and ready to continue this journey and earn my dental assistance certification in May 2020. To be able to do this and say I’ve accomplished all of this at the age of 23 might just be my biggest one yet and that is what helps me get through a tough week at school.”
- Vella J.
TAKING A BIG STEP
“I didn’t do the best in high school and college has always been a huge fear of mine so walking into UEI was a big step for me. It took me 3 times to come in and talk to someone about programs because every time I would go in and get really nervous. My first day at UEI I was exceptionally nervous, thinking what if I fail and all these negative thoughts came into my head. I almost walked out in fear until I met my classmates. After talking with all of them I realized I was not the only one feeling this way and from then on I couldn’t wait to go back every day. I felt so proud of myself that first day for overcoming one of the biggest fears I had. One of my favorite things about UEI is that the classrooms are designed to only have a select amount of students so the teacher is able to focus on each student and give them the attention they need. I think everyone learns differently and for me, a smaller classroom is perfect. I also really enjoy the activities the school does to have fun and show its students that there is fun along with hard work in education.