Maddy R. had a tough childhood, being in foster care, living with various relatives and the ensuing trauma and anxiety that left her feeling lost. “Striving for academic success was the only thing that kept me alive for many years and Learn4Life sort of became my way out,” she explained. “I got the one-on-one time and patience that I needed and deserved. I had to learn that it was okay to ask for help.”
Now, Maddy is helping current students learn that important life skill.
After graduating in 2021, enrolling in community college and working two jobs, she became an Alumni Ambassador for Learn4Life. The Ambassadors serve as mentors and role models for students and share information about the school’s programs, services, resources and partnerships.
Another important life skill Maddy gained at Learn4Life was how to take charge of her own life. “Before, I was always being controlled by other people,” she said. “But my teacher and school counselors gave me the tools to take these skills and apply them to my life.”
She admits that she’s been through a lot, like many other kids, and the only unique part of her story is how she now handles life’s ups and downs. “I don’t choose to be a victim anymore. Life happens, but only I can decide how it affects me.”
The 18-year-old is enrolled at Ventura Community College, working on her associates degree in business and plans to transfer to a four-year college. She likes the business classes, but is considering education as a career, too.
“I’m especially proud of the perseverance I’ve shown when it comes to my education, the workplace and, most importantly, in my life. I am most proud of this because it takes a lot to struggle all your life but still be standing at the end of the day.”