“When I was younger, external situations made me take school not too serious. I was on my own at a very early age and was required to grow up a little faster. During my senior year in High School, I graduated second to last of my class, barely making the cut to graduate. As I continued my education in college, I struggled to maintain the proper grades to keep me afloat in college. In consequence to my actions, I got kicked out of college and was told I couldn't come back till I proved myself after a semester. During that semester I had off, I really took my situation into perspective, I analyzed the external and internal factors that brought me to that stage of my life.”
“I realized that drinking and doing drugs was not a healthy way to live, and realized that those external factors that I had control over were also messing up my internal factors, such as my thought-process, my emotional state, my financial state, and my academics. I decided to make a plan to find a way out of that deep hole I was in and decided that that story wouldn't define me, that Eli was made to be much more than that broken Eli. With the help of God, I climbed out of that abyss and returned to college making A's and B's and with a different approach to life and knowing to control the things that I could control, which was my attitude, my perspective, and my actions. I got involved in school and have met so many great people with the same growth-mindset."
Cora's decision to apply to the UHD BSW Program was based on her passion to promote the well-being of all members of her community. Cora would like to thank the faculty of the UHD BSW Program for the many academic and service learning opportunities that have enriched her leadership skills, and helped her in both career preparedness and resilience.
While Cora has demonstrated excellence in leadership as the President of our very active student organization (SWSCAN), she has shown most brightly in her excellence in Field Education. Cora took on a new field placement for our Program, in what is also a new effort on our campus: the UHD Minority Male Initiative. Cora has carved out and secured a new role in this university-wide project for social work, and has, in just one semester, established the importance and great need for the profession of social work in the work of righting the wrongs of historical and institurtional discrimination in our educational system.
Her work and performance in Field has been so exceptional to attract the attention, mentorship, and accolades of both the Director of the project, and the Dean of our College. Post-graduation, Cora plans to pursue and MSW degree to further her ability and opportunity to serve the community. She will be a great force for change.