2015 EOPS STUDENT OF THE YEAR

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Ne-Ke-Lish Moreno
The details of the history of this year’s EOPS Student of the Year demonstrate the capacity for survival, and the willpower to battle back in order to become the best person you can be. This story is an example of all that you can endure and overcome to take control of your own life and set it back on the right course. In her application narrative, she describes experiences that were brutal and abusive, but also describes her own resourcefulness and determination to escape from the traps of abuse, addiction, and desperation.
In just three short years, this student has gotten clean and sober, completed a GED, regained custody of her children, and enrolled in Shasta College. Through the support of the EOPS and Cal-WORKs programs, she has pursued a degree in Administration of Justice to help youth in the juvenile justice system avoid some of the same tragic results that she experienced due to her past choices. She has been enrolled full-time, has earned an overall GPA of 3.2, and has been on the Dean’s List. All this time, she has also been fully invested in her own recovery from repeated periods of addiction.
In her tribute to her instructor, Craig Carmena, the Student of the Year talked about the encouragement and direc-tion she has received from her instructors, and her temptation to drop out of college, “believing I was destined to live a low impact life”. If this student is anything like our past Student of the Year winners, including the ones we heard from today, her destiny is to be anything BUT low impact. Sometimes the best people to help someone who has been abused and addicted is the person who survived and overcome that experience. We are proud to recognize Ne-Ke-Lish Dawn Moreno as the EOPS Student of the Year.
Written by Sandra Hamilton Slane


2015 CARE STUDENT OF THE YEAR

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Melian Manas
The pursuit of a quality education has been a guiding force in the life of this year’s CARE Student of the Year, both in childhood and as an adult. After working for years in a variety of positions helping individuals with disabilities, she eventually became an administra-tor for two homes. However, she ultimately realized that she needed more education to provide security and modeling for her son. She also aspired to achieve a goal neither of her parents had a chance to do – graduate from college. So, despite a 10 year gap in her col-lege education she returned to Shasta College in the fall semester of 2013. As many of you know, events can occur that threaten to disrupt your education. First, a broken car and no money to fix it meant our student of the year learned to car pool, waiting long pe-riods of time for rides to and from classes. The following semester, she struggled with health issues, but managed to earn a 4.0 GPA each of these semesters. Now, in her final semester, she looks for-ward to graduating with an AS Degree in Office Administration, along with two certificates. Her career goal has been to work in a field where she can help people.
What I found most impressive and quite frankly, unusual, was that in the course of pursuing her education, the student of the year visited the student employment office 22 times! There are numerous resources on campus to help with career planning and job placement, and one sign of dedication and commitment is using these services to help you succeed.
While a student at Shasta College, the Student of the Year participated in the OAS/HIM club, and served as a tutor in the Math and Business Learning Center. While she expresses pride in her own accomplishment of completing college with strong academic success, the most important outcome is the effect on her son. As she wrote in her Student of the Year application; “There is nothing better in the world than knowing that I am accomplishing the goal I set out to do, and that because of my decision to go back to school, my son is now eager to go to college and become someone successful. I am thankful to all the people who have helped me along the way. I can only hope to be able to encourage others to take the same leap to let them know it is I worth it in the long run”.
Written by Sandra Hamilton Slane