Meet Our Summer Associates: Yessica Gonzalez

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Yessica Gonzalez Reyes | California State University, Northridge | Class of 2021

Yessica Gonzalez Reyes was raised in Richmond, CA and is a graduate of El Cerrito High School Class of 2017. She is now entering her third year at California State University, Northridge, majoring in Sociology. With concentrations in Inequality and Diversity, as well as Social Movements and Political Sociology, she hopes to learn the most effective ways of being able to give back to her community and help those who are often underserved and underrepresented. Being a first-generation college student, she hopes to inspire others, especially in her family of the possibilities that are available no matter the background one may come from.  

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Expand on hardships/motivational factors that influence you to this day

My name is Yessica Gonzalez Reyes, I graduated from El Cerrito High School in 2017, and am going to enter my third year at California State University, Northridge, majoring in Sociology with a concentration in Inequality and Diversity, as well as Social Movements and Political Sociology. Since coming to college, my desire to succeed has increased from what it was while I was in high school. I used to think that my potential was not where it had to be if I wanted to be something in life, but my parents always and continue to motivate me to keep going and take chances with the opportunities that come my way. 

Q: How has the Richmond Promise played a role in your education?

Richmond Promise has been a great impact on my education thus far. Receiving the Scholarship has been a great help financially, but in keeping up with the growth of the program, it continues to inspire me in one day coming back and helping out in the city that I was raised in. They have also provided me with an internship with the Department of Children and Youth, which has been an opportunity to begin experiencing the work of a field that I am interested in going into.

Q: What do you want to contribute to Richmond, or to the world?

Some of my career goals are becoming a high school college counselor, but also working with non-profit organizations that are aimed towards helping youth. When I achieve these things, I hope to work towards encouraging the future generations to realize and execute their potential with whatever route they choose to take.

Q: Can you tell us about your current college experience?

I had a bit of a rough start to my college experience. I questioned a lot my first semester if I had made the right choice of moving away from home, but I am glad I stuck to it because it has become one of the best things I could have done for myself. I have made some amazing friends, joined Hermanas Unidas de CSUN, where I will even hold a position on Steering this year, have gotten the opportunity to work on campus with professors as an Instructional Student Assistant in Mathematics since the second semester of my first year, and have even made it to the Dean’s List, which is something I did not think I was capable of at first. My college experience overall has taught me that high school, especially your grades, do not define who you are and who you are capable of becoming. 

Q: What are you looking forward to after receiving your bachelor’s?

I am not entirely sure as to what I am looking forward to after receiving my bachelor degree. I will either apply to go to Graduate School to earn my Master’s or hopefully find work in something related to my field of interest in either Northridge or Richmond. But one thing for sure is that I am excited to make myself and my parents proud of becoming the first in my family to obtain a Bachelor degree.


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