“I love the JC! I really do. Everyone here is really nice and there’s a community going on here… It feels like home here.”
Kylie Baker talks passionately about her three jobs, her full-time SRJC psychology studies and her dream to work in a profession that helps people. She is an SRJC student ambassador, a student health aide with the People Empowering Each other to Realize Success (PEERS) coalition at SRJC, and also works at My Home, Inc.—a group home where she is part of the direct care staff helping women with mental disabilities. She takes many dance and psychology classes and is getting ready to graduate and transfer. Judging by her joyful enthusiasm, you would not guess that she has known deep sorrow and despair from a young age.
When Kylie was only 17 years old, her mother, who raised and provided for her alone, passed away from a stroke caused by an MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection. Without a father in her life, Kylie was on her own. She had struggled in high school, but came to SRJC in 2013 for the affordability and the good academic reputation. Things started changing for her immediately. As Kylie recalls, “My first day of class I was worried – what if I did not actually like psychology? I stepped into my first college class, a room filled with more than 200 students. This would be the moment of truth for me. The instructor walked in and with no hesitation she introduced herself and began the lecture. It was a lot of information, but I knew that I had made the right choice.”
That first instructor, SRJC’s award-winning faculty member Brenda Flyswithhawks, inspired Kylie to take all the psychology classes offered and to make it her major. The young woman thrived has thrived over the past three years, guided by faculty members and mentors. She’s made it with support from Financial Aid, after completing her Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Working with Student Health Services has helped her to get practical experience in her chosen field. Kylie speaks warmly about her mentors, Stephanie Sanchez, supervisor for PEERS, and SHS psychology intern Brighton Early. Without any close family to listen to her doubts, she turned to them for answers about dealing with people or general advice about life, school, and career.
Kylie applied to get her AA for transfer in psychology at the end of May 2016. She has been accepted in five out of the eight universities she applied to, and she decided to transfer to her top choice - UC Santa Barbara. Her heart will always be part of SRJC; as she says, “I love the JC! I really do. I love it here. I’m on the Dean’s Honor’s List, I have the highest GPA I’ve had since middle school. Everyone here is really nice and there’s a community going on here… It feels like home here.”
You can afford college, too! SRJC's Financial Aid office has information on federal and state aid programs, as well as scholarships and veterans benefit programs. Additionally. we have numerous health services for our students, including mental health services in addition to clinical services for physical health.