Paw Da is a former GGAL and current WeLEAD participant who recently graduated in the spring of 2019 with a Bachelors of Science in Human Services from Metropolitan State University.
Many girls in WISE’ GGAL and WeLEAD programs struggle with their confidence in speaking, reading, and writing in English. For Paw Da, it was a major barrier that inhibited her for a long time. During her time in high school, Paw Da didn’t think she could make it far because of her limited English language skills; however, by receiving academic support from the GGAL program, Paw Da was able to complete her writing assignments and improve her English little by little.
In addition to her improved English, Paw Da was able to build her self-confidence through leadership and life skills training provided by WISE.
“I have increased my self-esteem. I learned to be more confident in myself. I have also learned to be positive about my education and goals. [I] sat in a lot of leadership skills and personal development workshop over the summer which colleges don’t offer students.”
Paw Da continued to receive support from WISE once she went to college. She credits her mentors and program coordinator for helping her write successful papers and clarifying homework questions she didn’t understand.
Now that Paw Da has graduated from college, she feels both happy and excited. Having worked and attended school full-time, she knew that completing school on time would be a challenge. Paw Da made sure she graduated on time by meeting with her advisors and making sure she registered for the right amount of credits, but what ultimately motivated her to complete her degree was her parents. She pursued college wanting to get a better job in a field where she wouldn’t “have to work hard like in labor work factory where people will disrespect [her].” Paw Da states, “My parents face these issues which motivated me to work harder.”
In addition, Paw Da is excited about having the time to take care of herself and not worry about completing homework assignments and attending classes. She looks forward to finding a job where she can work directly with people in the Human Services field. She mostly wants to work with underrepresented communities who also struggle with English and need support navigating services in the community.
Her advice for current and future college students like herself is, “Be confident! Go for your dreams! Seek support as much as you can especially when English is not your first language. I believe we need a lot of help!”
In her free time, Paw Da likes to listen to Karen and Gospel music and read non-fiction books like biographies.