Claudia Blue always knew she wanted to be a teacher.
"Growing up, I knew that education was really important," she says. "I could see myself doing that forever."
Claudia attended community college a number of years before, but then took a long break. Now, living in Lynwood, Compton College is conveniently located, which made it the logical choice when she decided to set the wheels back in motion towards achieving her teaching dream.
The road wasn't easy. Claudia wasn't working at the time, so paying for college was a challenge. She also had transportation issues, which made getting back and forth to campus difficult. Plus, she had to balance her coursework with raising her kids.
Fortunately, Claudia found resources at Compton College to help her—resources like Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS), which provides support for low-income and first-generation college students to help them succeed. EOPS and similar programs helped her pay not only for tuition, but also books, school supplies, and other essentials, to give her the opportunity to succeed.
The support Claudia received at Compton College wasn't just financial. She also found academic help when she needed it. Claudia never considered herself much of a writer, but an English Instructor Valerie Woodward helped her find the confidence she needed to excel in writing and discover that she really enjoyed it! Math was also a struggle, but Mathematics Instructor Evan Skorka helped her learn what she needed to know.
During that time, Claudia also started working at Compton College, which gave her the opportunity to pay forward all the help she had received. Working at the Call Center, she helped students get answers and assistance with issues like admissions, registering for classes, finding a career path, and much more.
"I was once in their shoes," she says. "Now I'm able to help them."
Claudia's goal was to become a teacher. Her original plan was to get her associate degree, but her teachers and counselors at Compton College motivated her to reach further and pursue a bachelor's degree. Three years ago, she transferred from Compton College to California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), where she earned her bachelor's. degree She's now been accepted to the credential program at CSULB, and in a year or so, she'll be ready to start teaching, either at the elementary school level, or in high school as a history or Chicano studies teacher.
Even though she's no longer a student at Compton College, Claudia now works in the Call Center full time.
"I love the campus," she says. Since Compton College had such an impact on her, she didn't want to leave. So, she chose to continue working there, to be a part of the campus community as it continues to grow and change.