After Alexandria graduated in 2017, she enrolled in community college and initially found it difficult. “But I did not give up and it started getting easier and more enjoyable. At this school I discovered that I was capable of anything despite my challenges,” she said. “What really helped me was learning to take baby steps – setting small-term goals. Then once I achieve those goals, I kept setting more little goals.”

A key component of our trauma-informed educational model is to teach students how to be resilient against life’s ups and downs – skills that help them succeed after they graduate and enter adulthood. This was important to Alexandria, who struggled with mental health issues, including ADHD, anxiety and depression. Her home life was rocky, and at her traditional high school, she got little support and found it hard to concentrate on studies.

Her teachers and counselors gave the extra support she needed, and she flourished. Since graduating, Alexandria earned an AS degree in child development and an AA degree in social and behavioral sciences. She was accepted at San Diego State University and is working on a bachelor’s degree in child development and plans to apply to their master’s program in social work or counseling. While going to school, she worked, managed her finances and was able to purchase a car and move into her first studio apartment.

“This school taught me that even when you think the whole world is against you, there are always people out there who care about you. They want to see you succeed, but you have to be open to receive support.”

Written By:
Ann Abajian