Xochitl Araica is the mother of 2 teenagers. After divorcing in 1998, she moved with her two small children to Georgia where she had no family support system. She started college soon after arriving in Georgia but she struggled to balance her family, working and maintaining her grades. During her second year she had to drop out of school after becoming ill . She had to be hospitalized for several weeks also requiring several blood transfusions. It took her three years to rebuild her strength. During this time she was also forced to file for bankruptcy. After discharging her bankruptcy in 2002 she began to rebuild her life. Just as she was re-establishing herself both personally and financially she was once again faced with illness requiring surgery. While recovering from surgery she began volunteering for the leasing office in her apartment building to help new families with getting their children enrolled in schools. She traveled with families to elementary, middle and high schools to help them since there were no bilingual staffs in the schools. She was then offered a full time position as an interpreter to assist parents and students. It was her work with these families that gave her the courage and determination to go back to school, earn a degree and be a role model for these students. She enrolled in college in 2005 and has not looked back. She is one term away from completing her college education and is proud of the example she is setting for her children. She wants to work with a nonprofit organization in building leadership, prevention programs and working against gangs and for pregnancy prevention. Because she is Latina, she also wants to set an example for her community. She wants Latina females and males to see that anything is possible with will and determination. Xochitl is seeking a BA in Criminal Justice undergraduate followed by a Masters in Educational Leadership.
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