Norma Cendejas immigrated to the United States from Mexico at the age of 16, already married and pregnant with her first child. She never attended high school.
“I came here as a migrant farm worker and all five of my kids were in the Migrant Head Start program. I enjoyed visiting the program’s center and volunteered in the classroom. I saw myself working as a teacher and helping those children and their families because I was familiar with the struggle they were going through.”
She enrolled at Los Medanos College and earned both a Certificate and an Associate Degree in Child Development, as well as an Associate Degree in Behavioral Science.
“LMC provided a positive experience for me. I never had any serious obstacles, but rather, had very good professors and counselors who helped guide me throughout my education.” One benefit was the opportunity to work in the College’s Child Study Center, where I felt a sense of belonging and community with my classmates and mentors. The experience was a significant step in my professional growth.”
Norma now works as a site supervisor for El Concilio, Council for the Spanish Speaking, serving low-income families who work in seasonal/agricultural jobs. She is a senior at CSU East Bay – studying Human Development, with a focus on Adolescent Development – and hopes to graduate in Spring ‘16.