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First Person: San Diego Foster Youth Heads To College

May 22, 2017 1:14 p.m.

First Person: San Diego Foster Youth Heads To College

GUESTS:

Alaysia, senior, San Pasqual Academy

Erin Pavelko, volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate

Related Story: First Person: San Diego Foster Youth Heads To College

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

It is time for another installment of our first-person theories stories of people told in their own words. Before all the circumstance of the high school commencement ceremonies in June a small group of San Diego high school seniors will celebrate another graduation from foster care. 19-year-old Alaysia has been a foster youth. Her last name will not be used to protect your privacy's credit to her court appointed special Advocate for helping her beat the odds. Her mentor spoke with her about the hopes and some fears about starting college next month.
What you look for the most about going to college?
Seeing where it's going to take me and how I'm going to do with my assignments and my study habits.
Overall you are excited.
I am excited but I am nervous because every time I talk about my transition from school to college they say we are going to fly up there and meet everybody and then I want you to feel comfortable and I want to leave. So I'm wondering how that's going to work out because I don't like to say goodbye so quickly like that. I might have to say bye so I think this is weird to me.
So do they have a program that you are part of when you get there?
Yes, I will be flying out to San Francisco State two days after graduation and then the Monday, which is June 19 will be the day that I start my classes for summer bridge.
I know you're nervous about that but just remember everybody's going to that so you will not be the only when. It is good that you're going to do it before school because you get to meet people. You will meet people in your classes and in the dorms. Everybody will be feeling the same way so don't feel like you are the only one. If you see someone by themselves, you can go up and chat with them. That is how it happens. Everyone starts talking to each other. Don't worry you will be fine.
Okay.
You do things on your own. So remember when you said that you want me to write your book. I am working on it and I will have it ready for you when you leave. What are the most important things that you want me to put in the book so that you don't forget?
I think one of the important things food wise is how to boil eggs and cook rice directly test correctly. Like how to cook basic things and then --
What do you think will help you for the most restaurant
How to deal with bad roommates. I feel like it's going to be difficult for me to figure out what to do if I am by myself and I'm awkward when it comes to those things. Had a sure space with like three other people that's really small because I like to have a lot of space and I like to be that I don't like to be compacted and little spaces.
Do you know how many roommates you will have Schmack
I think it will be three.
If you don't get along with her inmates to think how do you think you'll handle that?
I will be as nice as possible in the how it goes from there. I will see if I have to move rooms are not.
You can always request it but it might not happen right away. You have to be patient. You still have to be respectful of each other.
So what you think has made you successful?
Well, I see that I was always motivated and told if you don't do this, you have to look at the consequences later. So I always think about that like if I don't go to this and make a bad choice and another part has to do with my family and seeing how they do not go. I want to be the first in my family to go to college and graduate and start a career. I think that is something special.
Who would tell you that you have to look at the consequences?
I still listen.
I was thinking about things after you leave if we are going to see tether much. Just letting you know that I am very proud of you for going. I'm really excited. I will send you care packages. Hopefully I will come in visit you. I will still always be here. I'm not going to be able to be as supportive because I will not know your teachers but I want you to know that you can still call.
I am so going to text you every day.
I know. I just want you to know that you will be there without me there as much so you just have to try to make this test decisions and be patient. Suggest remember don't get mad when things don't happen right away. Just try to be patient. I'm very proud of you for getting to where you are. I'm excited for you and I think it's a good fit because you love art and I think it will be perfect.
Thank you.
That was Alaysia speaking to her special advocate Erin Pavelko. The Guardian scholars program will provide a year-round housing educational support and a connection to a social worker. She's giving Josh getting help paying for college from a program. It was produced by Meghan Burk. Still ahead as not he words go mainstream an examination of why people use swear words. It is 12:49 you are listening to KPBS midday edition.