When Edwina Williams found out she was pregnant with her first child, she had no choice but to drop out of high school. Not wanting to become just another statistic, Edwina enrolled in the High School Diploma Program (AHSDP) at the MiraCosta College Community Learning Center. “I felt incomplete,” she shared, “I felt I was missing out on a life better than the one I was experiencing.”
Two years later, with a high school diploma and an AHSDP Graduate Scholarship under her belt, Edwina decided to earn an associate degree. Her hard work, combined with the support of her family, mentors and counselors, earned her a place on the prestigious President’s List. It also earned her multiple scholarships including the MiraCosta Foundation Need-Based Scholarship, MiraCosta Foundation Scholarship, Grandison M. Phelps Jr. Scholarship, EOPS Recognition Award, North County African-American Women’s Association Scholarship, and the Louise A. Broderick San Diego County Scholarship.
Scholarships are important because they help people overcome financial barriers and ultimately reach their potential,” Edwina said.
In 2010, Edwina, a psychology major, received her associate’s degree from MiraCosta College. She then transferred to CSU San Marcos from where she graduated in 2012 with a degree in psychology. She is now on her way to earning a master’s degree from CSUSM and eventually wants to earn a Ph.D. in sociology, with a goal of starting a career either in counseling kids or teaching college.
As a current graduate student, Edwina’s fear of going beyond her limits has diminished. With an amazing support system, including the love of her son, Makhi, who is now 10 years old, Edwina feels she can take on any challenge that comes her way.
“I am first-generation college student and I have beaten the odds. As a single mother who initially dropped out of high school, I have never considered my disadvantaged background to be an obstacle in my path. Rather, it has been a catalyst for my journey to obtaining a graduate degree and ultimately being able to counsel youth.”