Yulissa comes from a first-generation, low-income background. Her parents are immigrants who came to Oregon in the ’90s to start a better life for themselves and their children. Although not understanding English or the American culture, what they did understand is that education is the key to a better future. Yulissa is the oldest of four and growing up it was instilled in her, and her siblings, that they would go to college and graduate. This dream was not just her parent’s dream, it eventually became her dream. Being the oldest, Yulissa felt lost in the process and was unsure of how to do this. She got lucky in her junior year of high school. College Possible had expanded and was recruiting for its first cohort in Oregon. She quickly signed up and was accepted into the program. After joining, Yulissa had access to so much knowledge and resources. Thanks to College Possible, in 2019 Yulissa was able to become the first in her family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. This was a momentous year for her family; but it did not last long, in a good way, the following year, her younger sister also graduated with her bachelor’s degree. What was once a dream has now become a key milestone in her life. It is no longer something that they can only imagine but something that can actually become a reality and has now become normalized in her family. Yulissa can’t help but feel thankful for the impact that College Possible and other access programs have on families like hers. Her life trajectory and knowledge have greatly expanded and she is proud to be a bridge between the two worlds that she has been balancing in the United States.
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