New America Media / BabyCenter en Español, News Report, Erika Cebreros, Translated by Elena Shore
SAN FRANCISCO – Lourdes Alarcón is what higher-education experts call a “non-traditional student.” In other words, she isn’t a young person who went straight to college after high school. Originally from Bolivia, she is a thirty-something mom raising two kids — a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl – on her own. And by the end of 2013, after four years of personal sacrifice and hard work at San Francisco State University (SFSU), she’ll also be a college graduate.
Alarcón’s success was spurred by disappointment. Five years ago, she lost her job as assistant to the principal of an elementary school in San Francisco, and subsequently had difficulty finding a job that would pay her enough to support a family in one of the country’s most expensive areas to live.
“My options were to [either] go to college, or take any job,” said Alarcón. “I preferred to study to get ahead and provide a better future for my kids. My dream has always been to be a teacher.”
Childcare often the greatest obstacle
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