Student focus: Katrina Smith, Cochise College GED graduate
She couldn’t find her voice in high school. She struggled to connect with her classmates, and because she was enduring personal issues, she felt her teachers shunned her and didn’t reach out to try and help.
She was a drug addict, and tried to drink away her problems. “I was in trouble with the law and it just continued to get worse. My decisions became more negligent and increasingly more destructive as the years went on,” Katrina said.
She dropped out of high school.
She lived with her sister, who helped her watch and take care of her two sons, while she researched attending Cochise College.
The “tough love” she experienced at Cochise, including the sense of community and family she felt helped her connect, and stay in the program. She was “forced” to build relationships with her fellow classmates, and over time, she realized that this program would be life changing for her. She received her GED in June of 2018, and then took classes to continue on her quest to earn a BS Degree in Biology, either at the University of Arizona or Northern Arizona University. Her ultimate plan is to become a medical pathologist.
“I know it’s scary, but it’s the best thing you could do for yourself and the people in this program not only care, but they love you and they inspire you and they make it their goal to teach you each and every single day,” she said. “I still go to these guys for all the help I need; it’s an extension of my family. Cochise College changed my life, forced me to take a hard look at myself, and got me on a track to my future. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity for a chance to succeed.”