Victoria is FEA’s 2013-2014 Rainbow Scholar.

Hello, my name is Victoria. I’m a first generation student, mother, queer, social justice organizer, proletarian, abuse survivor, and 4.0 student. I attend Portland Community College and work part-time. My mission is to ease burdens for as many lives as I have ability. I measure success by the quality of life for the least fortunate members of our communities. I’ve volunteered throughout adulthood and continue to on campus. Being older and a driven woman of action, I have more life experience than traditional students. I’ve been a beauty instructor, construction contractor, Independent Media Center editor/outreach coordinator, arts and social justice center co-coordinator, and I’m currently Executive Director for Associated Students of PCC. After losing my business, I was making minimum wage and considering one of my life dreams: to get an education. I had only completed 7th grade before leaving home. At 16, I got my GED to begin college. However, I became pregnant and my life went down other paths, which brought me here. I began college to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work. As a former homeless queer youth, I will use my experience and education to design social programs. Living my life has been about learning the art of turning a nose dive into flight. In tough times, visions for my future provide destinations to focus on so that I don’t wallow and sink in the despair of the present.

Another life dream is to travel to Europe. I’m from Portland, OR and haven’t lived anywhere else. I have chosen London because I love British pop culture, have always felt a personal affinity for London, and there are exciting opportunities for me to gain experience through the volunteer component of my study abroad program. London has a network of programs exclusively for sexual minority homeless youth!

That is my career focus. My goal is to volunteer for Jigsaw; the program that acts as a switch board for this network. Thus, I could have exposure to the entire system and bring that valuable perspective to my community. I am indescribably grateful that this, once out-of-reach, dream is coming true!

Journal entries by Victoria

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