Student Spotlight

CARE Scholars Spotlight Spring 2018: Arlinda Perez

Arlinda Perez


I came from an abusive home with an alcoholic parent, and as a result, I also grew up like my parent, developing an issue with alcohol and substance abuse. What brought me to East Los Angeles College was the end of a 12-year abusive marriage that ended in the loss of parental custody of my two younger children. During my road to recovery, and after completing a residential treatment program, I decided to do everything I needed to become the parent I always wanted for myself. Since that day in 2014, I regained custody of my two young children, and have stayed actively involved in the twelve steps of Alcoholic Anonymous. My kids and I have been healing through therapy sessions ever since. Most importantly I decided to embark on my educational journey.

Coming back to school as a thirty-eight-year-old was anything but easy. I had to start from the bottom up. When I began at East Los Angeles College I came in with the mentality that I was going to try it out. Along my educational journey I have meet supporting professors and staff that helped me believe in myself. I am proud to say that Spring 2018 was my last semester at East Los Angeles College, I graduated in June, something I never imagined. Where I come from people like me don’t usually make it this far. Not only did I graduate in June, but I will be transferring to a four-year University, UC Berkeley for Fall 2018. My children and I are excited to see where the future will lead us. This will be the start of a positive change that will propel my family's future.

CARE Student Spotlight Fall 2017: Cindy Garcia

Cindy Garcia

My name is Cindy Garcia, I started attending ELAC in Fall 2012, and was extremely fearful upon taking my first English class. I realized that I had to follow a syllabus, and that the class demanded structured writing, so immediately wanted to quit. I thought that I was not school material. Thankfully, my daughter convinced me to stay in college and retake the class if necessary. I attended every day, sat in the front seat when possible, and saw my professor for office hours. Since then, I have passed every English class, except one, with an A. I have learned that to be successful in college I had to utilize all the program services available to me, especially tutoring through EOPS. What also helped me was communicating with the CARE Staff, Ms. Renee and Ms. Herrera. With the support of CARE, I felt that I could face any academic challenge, so I encourage you to get to know them, and your professors personally, for they will be your mentors in the future and will write reference letters needed for scholarships. Most of all make college the best experience for you and have fun! Get involved in campus clubs and programs.

C.A.R.E. Student Spotlight Fall 2015: Juan Sandoval

image of Juan Sandoval's Family Juan is also one of the Peer Advisors for the EOPS/CARE Program, so he can help answer questions and give you up to date information.


My name is Juan Sandoval, as a single father of 3 children; Bryan, Jasmine & Kimberly. Growing up as a young man in a family of seven, I was expected to graduate from high school and get a job, so I did just that. I worked at Office Depot for 20 years, and achieved great levels of success, but during the recent recession I lost my job. With a family to support, it became very difficult, so I decided to go back to school and that is how I ended up at ELAC. I enrolled and have participated in the EOPS/CARE Programs and Cal-Works. With their assistance and guidance I have learned to once again become more self-sufficient, and I am getting closer to my goals of becoming a Nurse.

Currently, I hold a 3.385 gpa, and have received Certificates of Achievement from both CARE and Cal-Works. In addition, I have also received two Associates Degrees in General Studies; one in Social and Behavioral Science and the other in Natural Science. I am also finishing up the pre-requisites for Nursing, and hope to join the program soon.

Even though it has not been easy, what keeps me going are my kids. The advice I have for you as CARE students is to never give up, take it one step at a time, set self-reminders, and most importantly involve your kids in the experience. I bring them on campus with me so they can see that daddy is going to college, and at home I have study sessions with them. Afterall, my achievements are also theirs.